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In attack on Kerala professor, police name 54 accused

Friday January 14, 2011 02:56:06 PM, IANS

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Kochi: At least 54 people were named by police in a list of accused submitted to a court here Friday for last year's assault on a Kerala college professor whose right palm was chopped off.

Of them, 27 have been charge sheeted.

Deputy Superintendent of Police Sabu Mathew, who investigated the case, submitted the charge sheet to the First Ernakulam Sessions Court here and charged the accused with attempt to murder, conspiracy and also with whipping up communal passions.

T.J. Joseph's right palm was chopped off allegedly by Muslim fundamentalists in July last year when he was returning from a Sunday mass with his family members.

Of the 54 accused, the names of 27 figure in the first charge sheet. The second charge sheet would be filed later with names of the remaining 27.

Those formally charged in the court include seven who were in the car and committed the crime. The first accused, Sawad, who allegedly chopped the teacher's palm, is yet to be arrested. Among the arrested is a dentist.

Joseph's palm was chopped off in July allegedly by activists of the Popular Front of India (PFI). They were outraged at a reference to Prophet Mohammed in a question paper he prepared for second year B.Com students for an internal examination of Newman College, Thodupuzha.

Joseph was suspended from the job by the Kothamanagalam diocese of the Syro Malabar Catholic Church which runs the college, after he was arrested by the police. This happened before the attack on him.

Reacting to the news, Joseph said he has already pardoned the perpetrators of the crime.

"Right now my only interest in the case is let the law take its course and I don't see this as a personal case any more," said Joseph.






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