Lecturer attack: ‘Dismisal unfortunate and unexpected’

Last Updated: Friday, September 17, 2010 - 13:47

Thiruvananthapuram: Dismissed Newman College lecturer TJ Joseph, whose hand was hacked allegedly by activists of radical outfit PFI, has said that college management action was very unfortunate and unexpected.

`The dismissal from college is the maximum punishment under University law. They could have awarded compulsory retirement order, so that I could have received the retirement benefits for the 25 years of my service` Joseph told a malayalam
television channel during a programme.

Prof TJ Joseph, was suspended from service for preparing a question paper that hurt the sentiments of Muslim community.

Joseph said that action was unexpected. `I was preparing myself to return to college among students. Many of the priest and nuns who came to see me, also indicated that action will not be so harsh`, Joseph, who was recovering from double blow of injury and loss of job said.

"The management gave me the maximum punishment under the University law", he said. `I do not mind doing some farming to earn for living. But, in the present circumstances, I do not think that It is possible`. "Now there is no other way, other than taking help from others`, Joseph said.

Referring to the controversy his question paper created, Joseph said `I do not think any of my 32 students including 4 Muslim students to whom the question paper was prepared,
were behind row`.

`How it became controversy, I do not know", Joseph said. "Generally it was felt that teaching profession was an `accident free area`, but `accident happened to me` he said.

Asked about the approach of Church to management decision, Joseph said a few priests who came to see him told that he should take legal remedy to get back his job. `Some priests even offered legal fee for conducting the case`, he said.

Joseph was attacked allegedly by Popular Front of India activists on July 4 in an apparent retaliation for preparing a question paper with alleged derogatory reference to Prophet Mohammed.

On his attack, Joseph said the incident should result in strengthen secularism instead creating divide among religions in the state. `I will be extremely happy if this kind of
incidents did not occur in the state in future, he said.

Asked what would be his reaction if he meet any of the 50 accused persons who attacked him, Joseph said he had never felt any animosity towards them at any time.

`Some institutions brain-wash youngsters. Perhaps now they think that what they had done is correct` But after many years, they will realise the mistake`, Joseph added.

PTI




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