Kerala professor loses job

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Thiruvananthapuram
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  • Updated: Sep 05, 2010 01:37 IST

Professor T J Joseph, whose right hand was chopped off by suspected activists of radical Muslim outfit Popular Front of India, was dismissed from service by his college in Kerala on Saturday for preparing a blasphemous question paper.

"I am shattered. I never expected this. It is more painful than the attack," a shocked Joseph (52) said. "I have already spent a good amount on my treatment. I don't know how to go ahead."

College authorities justified the decision, saying they were "forced".

"But if the court or Muslim bodies demand, we'll revoke it," said a spokesperson of Kothamangalam diocese, which manages Newman's College, where Joseph was a lecturer.

State Education Minister M A Baby said the decision was unfortunate, adding the government would provide him legal assistance if needed.

"He has suffered enough for his folly. It seems the college management has ignored this."

Joseph was attacked on July 4 at Muvattupuzha in Ernakulam district. He had prepared a question paper that allegedly had derogatory references to Prophet Muhammad.

The lecturer, whose severed hand was sutured, has injuries all over his body and is now recuperating at his residence in Ernakulam.

"I am in the dark. I don't know what to do. I have already pardoned my attackers. I was eager enough to take up my job," he said.

A police probe after the attack unearthed a minefield of information about the growing fundamentalist network in the state. There were also reports that several "Taliban-model" Islamic courts ran a parallel judicial system in the state.


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