Special NIA court convicts 13 people in 2010 hand-chopping case in Kerala

A group of radical Muslims chopped off the hand of a college lecturer for alleged blasphemy

Kochi: A special NIA court on Thursday convicted 13 people, owing allegiance to a radical Islamic outfit, in the sensational hand chopping case of a college professor in Kerala in 2010 while acquitting 18 other accused.

Ten of the 13 have been have been found guilty under various sections of the central law dealing with terror—the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).

The court, which posted the matter to May 5, is likely to pronounce the quantum of punishment on the same day after hearing.

Eighteen people have been acquitted by the Special NIA court Judge P Sasidharan citing lack of evidence against them in the case.

The 13 persons owing allegiance Popular Front of India (PFI) were convicted in the case in which the right hand of T J Joseph, professor of Newman College in Thodupuzha in Idukki district, was chopped while he was returning home after attending a Sunday mass at a church in Muvattupuzha in Ernakulam district on July 4, 2010.

Besides UAPA, the court has also found the 10 accused guilty under various sections of Explosive Substances Act and IPC that deals with criminal conspiracy and attempt to murder.

The court, however, convicted three accused—Abdul Lateef, Anwar Sadique and Riyas-- under Section 212 of IPC, dealing with harbouring offenders.

The court in its judgement said that the prosecution has proved beyond all reasonable doubts that eight of the accused along with some others entered into a criminal conspiracy to eliminate the professor by inflicting grievous injuries.

They did it out of enmity towards Joseph accusing him of hurting religious sentiments of a community through a question paper he set for his students.

The court, which began the trial of the case in July 2013, had examined over 300 prosecution witnesses, four defence witnesses, over 950 prosecution documents, nearly 30 defence documents, and over 200 material objects.

Thirty-seven persons were charge-sheeted by the NIA in the case. However, 31 only underwent trial as the remaining six, including first accused Savad were absconding.

An absconding accused, Najeeb was arrested on April 15 in Coimbatore. NIA had registered the case on April 4, 2011.

According to the police, which initially probed the case, the accused wanted to kill Joseph for derogatory religious remarks in a question paper he set for B.Com semester examination in the Newman College.

( Source : PTI )
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