Ernakulam: The court has severely criticized the mentality of second accused, Sajil, in the case of chopping off the hand of Professor TJ Joseph. The court observed that Sajil was celebrating at his house when the Professor’s wife committed suicide in March, 2014.
The court said that it cannot turn a blind eye to the mentality of the accused and said that pain is same to everyone. The court was responding to Sajil’s request for leniency citing the reason that his mother is living alone at home.
The court found six out of the twelve accused guilty of the charges. The convicted persons are second accused, Sajil, third accused, MK Nasar, fifth accused, Najeeb, ninth accused, Naushad, Manzoor, eleventh accused, Moitheen Kunju, and twelfth accused, Ayoob.
Five accused were let off. The first accused, Savad, is still absconding. The court cancelled the bail of all the six convicted persons and ordered them to be kept at Kakkanad prison.
The victim, Professor TJ Joseph, said that he was attacked in the name of a primitive belief. He said that he does not believe that punishing the guilty is a justice for the victim.
He also added that the failure to nab the first victim Sajad is the failure of the law and order system. Those who conspired to attack him are still beyond the reach of law. Those people with primitive views must be changed into modern persons. Every soldier who wins in a war will lose something. He added that he is still fighting that war.
Some accused who had gone underground after the attack on the professor were caught at various times over the years. The NIA completed the trial by submitting different charge sheets against each of these accused. In the first phase of the trial eleven out of thirty-seven persons were convicted and twenty-six were let off by the court.
Professor TJ Joseph was attacked on July 4, 2010 near his home at Muvattupuzha by Popular Front of India (PFI) terrorists. They attacked the professor for preparing a question paper, in which the name ‘Mohammed’ was used. Radical Islamists claimed it was insulting to the prophet Mohammed.
However, the passage was taken out from another work and had nothing to do with the prophet Mohammed. The professor’s hand was chopped off in the attack for preparing the question paper.
The Christian management of Newman College in Thodupuzha dismissed Professor TJ Joseph for hurting religious sentiments. There was widespread outrage against the management for dismissing the professor instead of providing him support from extremist groups.
His wife Salomi committed suicide on March 19, 2014, when the college did not reinstate the professor. She was under extreme mental pressure after the incident and the family was living in hardship without any regular income.