6 PFI members convicted in Kerala professor T J Joseph hand chopping case
A special NIA court in Kerala on Wednesday convicted six persons, who are members of now banned radical Islamic outfit Popular Front of India (PFI), in the sensational hand-chopping case of a college professor in Kerala in 2010. Special NIA court judge Anil K Bhaskar found three of them — Sajil, Nasar, and Najeeb — guilty of offences under the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) as well as attempted murder, conspiracy, and various other offences under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the Explosive Substances Act in the second phase of the trial in the case.
In the first phase of the trial in the case, 10 persons were convicted for offences under the UAPA as well as the Explosive Substances Act and the IPC, and three others were found guilty of harbouring the offenders. In the latest order, the court noted that the second accused Sajil took part in the attack while the third accused Nasar, who was the main conspirator in the case, and the fifth accused Najeeb had planned the “terrorist act” but did not take part in it.
Three others — Noushad, P P Moideen Kunhu, and Ayoob — were found guilty by the court of the offences of intentionally not giving information about a crime and harbouring offenders under the IPC.
The remaining five accused — Azeez Odakali, Shefeeq, Muhammed Rafi, Subair, and Mansoor — were acquitted by the special court. The punishments to be given to those convicted would be pronounced by the court on Thursday.
The right hand of T J Joseph, a professor of Newman College in Thodupuzha in Idukki district, was chopped off by PFI activists on July 4, 2010. The pro-Jehadi accused persons attacked Joseph for framing a question during the exam paper, which the accused said that it was anti-Islam. The attack took place while the professor was returning home with his family after attending a Sunday mass at a church in Muvattupuzha in Ernakulam district.
The attackers, a group of seven people, pulled the professor out of the vehicle, assaulted him, and then his right hand was chopped off by the main accused Savad who is still absconding. According to the police that initially probed the case, the accused wanted to kill Joseph for derogatory religious remarks in a question paper he set for the BCom semester examination in Newman College. There were 54 accused in the case of which 37 were named in the chargesheet and 31 had faced trial in the first phase as the others were on the run. Charges could not be framed against some other accused as they were not caught.
During the first phase of trial proceedings, the court examined over 300 prosecution witnesses, four defence witnesses, over 950 prosecution documents, nearly 30 defence documents, and over 200 material objects before delivering its verdict in April 2015. The court had in April 2015 convicted 10 people for offences under the UAPA as well as the Explosive Substances Act and the IPC and found three others guilty of harbouring the offenders. The court had acquitted 18 others in the case back then.
The special NIA court commenced the first phase of the trial against the 31 accused in July 2013. Professor T J Joseph, whose hands were chopped off by the attackers, said those who were caught and convicted in the case “were only the weapons” and the actual culprits behind it are yet to be found. He opined that the judgment was only the implementation of the law prevailing in the country and did not amount to justice for the victim.
“I have never believed that punishing an accused amounts to justice dispensation to the victim. It is a mistaken belief. So, whether they (accused in the case) were convicted or acquitted, I personally do not care either way,” he said while speaking to reporters after the verdict was pronounced.
PGurus is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel and stay updated with all the latest news and views
For all the latest updates, download PGurus App.
- Canada asked to downsize its diplomatic presence in India. India temporarily suspends issuance of visas to Canadian - September 21, 2023
- ICC confirms Dallas, Florida, and New York as US venues for ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024 - September 20, 2023
- Nine terror-supporting Khalistan groups have bases in Canada. India’s deportation requests ignored - September 19, 2023