Kerala teacher loses job after right palm chopped off


Muvattupuzha (Kerala) : Professor T.J. Joseph, whose right palm was chopped off by activists of the Popular Front of India (PFI) and stitched back by doctors, got another shock Saturday when the college he works for here dismissed him from service.

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“I was shocked to get the letter. Honestly, I was mentally getting ready to get back to my job as a teacher. I was under the impression that the management would revoke my suspension and take me back. This has come as a real shocker,” said Joseph lying on his bed in his home near here.

Joseph, a Malayalam teacher at the New Man College Thodupuzha, was sacked from his job on disciplinary grounds.

He has been accused of preparing “an inflammatory” question paper of Malayalam for an internal examination at the college.

Joseph had allegedly put inflammatory remarks about Prophet Mohammed in the question paper. This angered the PFI activists who slashed his right palm July 4 while he was returning from the church along with his family members. At the time of the attack, Joseph was on bail.

His chopped hand was stitched back by doctors, who are hoping that he will be back to normal.

PFI is a radical Muslim group. Over two dozen of its activists have been arrested since July 4. Police have also questioned senior PFI office bearers, including Naserudeen Elamaram and Professor T. Koya.

“This was part of a large conspiracy. Around 50 people were involved. More arrests would take place,” a police officer said.

The college management told media that Joseph was dismissed because he hurt the sentiments of a particular community. However, it said that the decision can be reconsidered if the Muslim community pardons him.

Reacting to Joseph’s dismissal, Education Minister M.A. Baby said it is unfortunate that the college management resorted to this.

“Hasn’t the teacher suffered enough… this act by the management for some reason appears to have not seen that. The teacher can approach the concerned university for redressal,” Baby told reporters in Thiruvananthapuram.