Kochi: Kerala lecturer TJ Joseph, whose palm was chopped off by suspected activists of radical outfit Popular Front of India three months ago, has been sacked by his college. The college says Joseph hurt religious sentiments by preparing a Malayalam question paper with alleged derogatory references to Prophet Mohammed.
The Christian-run Newman College informed Joseph that he has been removed from his job with effect from September 1.
Unhappy over the college's decision Joseph said, "I was expecting to return to college. This was saddening. I am totally disappointed."
The college also said that if Muslim leaders forgave Joseph the college could take him back.
Talking to CNN-IBN, Kerala Education Minister M.A. Baby said that the sacked lecturer could appeal to the state education department to reconsider his case.
However, since the management bodies of the individual colleges are independent under the existing university statute, they enjoy authority over taking disciplinary actions over its teaching and non-teaching staff.
“Professor Joseph will have to go through the university statute and procedure to take recourse and make an appeal through the university tribunal,” said Baby.
Regretting the decision taken by the college management, Baby said, “It’s like chopping off (Joseph’s) other hand.” “The college management has taken an irrational step and if need be, the government will intervene,” assured Baby.
Activists of the Popular Front of India had hacked Joseph's right hand on July 4 at Muvattupuzha while he was returning home with his family from a church after attending Sunday mass.
So far 30 persons have been arrested in connection with the attack.
CNN-IBN asks: Should the college be penalised for shamelessly bowing to a fundamentalist outfit? Why is the civil society in Kerala silent to this outrage?