`Kerala lecturer`s dismissal from college illegal`

The University Syndicate has termed Prof TJ Joseph`s dismissal from the Newman College in Thodupuzha as ‘illegal’.

Updated: Sep 09, 2010, 16:16 PM IST

Zeenews Bureau

Thiruvananthapuram: In what has come as a victory for Prof TJ Joseph, whose hand was chopped off by PFI activists over his alleged derogatory reference to Prophet Muhammed, the University Syndicate has termed his dismissal from the Newman College in Thodupuzha as ‘illegal’.

According to reports, Joseph’s sister Maria Stella has revealed that University has ruled in her brother’s favour, which was a victory for them.

Meanwhile, Joseph has also pleaded with the Christian-run institution to revoke its decision to dismiss him.

TJ Joseph, who is still struggling to recover from the double blow, had sent a letter to the management of Newman college at Thodupuzha, requesting that he be reinstated on
humanitarian grounds as he had not deliberately done any harm.

Church sources said that in his letter sent through a relative, Joseph said his salary was his only source of income to sustain his family and his 25 year record as a teacher was
unblemished.
Nobody who knew him all these years would ever have called him a "heretic or mischief monger," said Joseph, whose hand was chopped off allegedly by Popular Front of India activists on July 4 for preparing a question paper with alleged derogatory references to Prophet Mohamed.

He said he was touched by the visit of bishops, priests and nuns at the hospital.

Joseph, who was teaching Malayalam literature, was first suspended after the question paper row earlier this year and dismissed from service on September 1 on the ground that he had hurt the religious sentiments of a community.

The college authorities justified their action, holding that it was necessary to assert the secular credentials of the educational institutions run by the church.

Writers and academics, mostly of pro-Left circles have rallied round Joseph, condemning the college`s action as harsh and inhuman as he had suffered physical assault from fanatics.
The Newman College is affiliated to the Syndicate of Mahatma University, which was asked to look into the legal aspects of the action against Joseph.