Kochi: A special NIA court in Kerala has convicted six individuals linked to the banned radical Islamic outfit Popular Front of India (PFI) in the high-profile hand-chopping case of a college professor in 2010. The court found them guilty of attempted murder, conspiracy, and other offences under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).
The incident involved the brutal severing of the right hand of T J Joseph, a professor at Newman College in Thodupuzha, Idukki district. The attack occurred on July 4, 2010, when the professor was returning home with his family after attending a Sunday mass in Muvattupuzha, Ernakulam district.
The assailants, identified as members of the outlawed PFI, dragged the professor out of his vehicle, assaulted him, and chopped off his right hand. The main accused, Savad, who is still at large, carried out the act. The motive behind the attack, as per the initial police investigation, was allegedly derogatory religious remarks made by Joseph in a question paper he had set for a BCom semester examination at Newman College.
In the first phase of the trial, which concluded in April 2015, 31 accused individuals faced charges. The court convicted 10 of them for offences under the UAPA, Explosive Substances Act, and IPC, while three others were found guilty of harbouring the offenders. Eighteen individuals were acquitted in that phase.
During the second phase of the trial, the NIA court found six additional accused persons guilty of multiple charges, including attempted murder and conspiracy, while five others were acquitted.