According to NIA, Manzoor was the lone absconding accused in the case.

Prof Joseph/ Image Courtesy: www.americanbazaaronline.com
news Crime Saturday, August 05, 2017 - 18:13

A 47-year-old activist of a radical Muslim group was arrested in Kochi on Saturday by the NIA for alleged involvement in the chopping off of the hand of a college professor seven years ago.

According to the NIA, Manzoor was the lone absconding accused in the case. He was produced before the NIA court in Kochi.

Activists of the Popular Front of India had chopped off the right hand of Prof TJ Joseph on July 4, 2010, when he was returning along with his family members from the Sunday mass near his home in Muvattupuzha in Ernakulam district.

The case was transferred to the NIA which arrested those behind the crime. In 2015, the NIA court in Kochi had found 13 guilty and acquitted 18.

Of the 13 people convicted, 11 were implicated on charges of attempt to murder and conspiracy. Ten of them were also found guilty under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. 

When the police had filed the FIR, 37 people had been named. 

PFI, a radical Muslim group, was upset after Joseph - a Malayalam teacher at Newmans College Thodupuzha, Idukki - in the Malayalam question paper that he had prepared for an internal examination at his college, had inflammatory remarks on Prophet Mohammed. 

The PFI chopped off his right palm in retaliation for “blasphemy”.

Joseph had selected a passage to test students on punctuation from a short story by CPI(M) leader PT Kunju Mohammed. 

In the story, a nameless village madcap questions god. When setting the question, Joseph had named him Mohammed, which sparked a controversy when a newspaper affiliated with the Jamaat-e-Islami carried the news prominently. 

The court had said in 2015 that there was enough evidence to prove that the attack was part of a well-planned conspiracy and was not a spontaneous attack. 

(With IANS inputs)