1st anniversary of Talinanic Hand chop – Half of the culprits enjoying in Middle East

published on July 4, 2011

Prof attack: No trace yet of half the culprits
PNS | Kochi

A full year has passed since Islamists chopped off the right hand of Prof TJ Joseph of Muvattupuzha in a Taliban-model attack but half of the perpetrators of the heinous act are still roaming free. However, Prof Joseph has in the meantime learned to forgive and forget. He does not harbor any ill feeling towards anybody anymore, he himself says

Islamists belonging to the Popular Front of India (PFI) and its political wing Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) attacked Joseph, a Malayalam professor at Church-run Newman College of Thodupuzha, Idukki, when he was returning home on the morning of July 4, 2010 after the Sunday mass at a local church in Muvattupuzha in Ernakulam district.

The Jihadis chopped off his right hand and threw it into the nearby compound. His sister Stella and mother Elikkutty, who were with him in the Maruti car he had used that morning, were made to witness the brutal act. His crime: He prepared a question paper for the B Com students in his college that allegedly blasphemed Prophet Muhammad.

Prof Joseph was first hunted as an accused by the police for sparking off communal tension by preparing the question paper. The Islamists pounced on him just when the dust of this hunt was beginning to settle. Then, in September last, the college management suspended him from service for hurting the religious sentiments of a section of a particular community.

The Congress and its UDF allies, then in the Opposition, had raised a hue and cry over the inability of the Kerala Police, ruled then by CPI(M)’s home minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, to nab all the culprits even after the entire plot had been revealed. The UDF and the LDF had then traded charges by accusing each other of having links with Islamists.

However, sources in the police now say that the UDF Government, which took charge more than a month ago, has not even bothered to look into the case. “Their excuse is that the case is being probed by the NIA. But they can’t escape the responsibility because the agency is being supervised by the Congress-led Government in the Centre,” said a former Intelligence official.

The NIA had formally filed the FIR in the case at the Special CBI Court in Kochi on April 8 naming 54 persons as accused as part of the preparatory legal procedures for launching the follow-up investigation into the case. However, 27 of the accused, including MK Nasser of Aluva, the mastermind of the crime, are yet to be arrested,

As back as on April 27, the NIA had told the Special CBI Court in Kochi that the 27 absconding accused had been getting help from three Muslim organizations outside the State, following which the court gave permission for the follow-up probe. According to the agency, these outfits were based in Chennai, Thirunalveli and Hyderabad

Meanwhile, Prof Joseph, who is still training himself to write using his good left hand and put to use to the maximum possible level his cut-off right hand which was joined at the stump through a surgical procedure at a specialist hospital in Kochi. Also, he is continuing his legal war to get his job back.

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