In a relief to college lecturer TJ Joseph, whose hand was chopped off by activists of a radical outfit, a court in Kerala's Idukki has exonerated him of the charge that he hurt the religious sentiments by setting an exam question that allegedly insulted Muslims.
The chief judicial magistrate at Thodupuzha discharged Joseph on Wednesday from the case accepting his plea that he had prepared the questions for students of a graduate course without any mala fide intention.
A former lecturer of Malayalam literature at Newman College in Thodupuzha, Joseph was attacked and his right hand was chopped off allegedly by activists of the Popular Front of India, in July 2010, as he was returning home from church with his mother and sister.
The attackers told him that he was being punished for the sacrilegious undertones of one of the questions he had framed.
The case is being investigated by the National Investigation Agency and the trial is on.
Joseph on bail when he was attacked. He was arrested in April 2010 over the question that some Muslim groups claimed included an insulting reference to the Prophet Mohammed.
Despite widespread condemnation the incident evoked, the college dismissed Joseph from his job.
His plea challenging the decision is pending before the University Appellate Tribunal.
Joseph, when contacted, said he is writing a book about his harrowing experience after the entire episode.
The book will be published only after the pending case is over, he said.