Kochi: A private college lecturer, out on
bail after being arrested for preparing an alleged
inflammatory question paper that had triggered protests by
Muslims, was attacked and his right palm severed by
unidentified persons at Muvattupuzha in the district today,
The lecturer, T J Joseph, was dragged out of his car and
hacked with sharp weapons by the assailants while he was
returning from a church along with his family, including his
sister and mother. His right palm was severed while he
suffered cut injuries in his left leg, they said.
52-year-old Joseph was rushed to a private hospital here
where he is undergoing a surgery, hospital sources said.
A Malayalam lecturer at Newman College in Thodupuzha in
Idukki district, Joseph was arrested in April last after the
question paper which he had set for the B.Com II year internal
exams sparked protests by Muslim outfits, which claimed a
reference to Prophet Mohammed in it had hurt their religious
He was later suspended from the college, whose
authorities also apologised for the mistake.
Police said they were searching for the assailants,
numbering around eight.
Meanwhile, CPI(M) state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan
condemned the "Taliban model" attack on the lecturer and urged
all Keralites to protest against the "heinous crime".
Vijayan said in a statement that everyone shared the view
that the question paper prepared by the lecturer had hurt the
religious sentiments of Muslims. But such an attack on the
lecturer by "extremists" should not happen in a civilised
society, he said.
Vijayan said communal elements who wanted to create a
rift in society was behind the attack. Vijayan wanted the
government to swiftly act and bring the culprits to book.