Mumbai, India: T.J. Joseph, a Christian teacher accused of blasphemy in 2010, after which a group of strangers cut off his right hand and part of the arm, has finally been acquitted. The court of Thodupuzha in Kerala today heard the appeal filed by the teacher and acquitted him of all charges. Sajan George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christians, told AsiaNews, “for which we must thank the Indian judicial system. The case of Professor Joseph was one of the darkest pages in Kerala’s recent history.”
In March 2010, the teacher, a professor at Newman College, was accused of blasphemy by the Islamic fundamentalist group Popular Front of India ( PFI ). According to the extremists, he added offensive questions about Muhammad to an exam questionnaire. Under constant threats, the man apologized publicly for his “unintentional error.”
A few months later, however, a group of strangers attacked him in Muvattupuzha ( Ernakulam district), cutting off the hand and part of his right arm. TJ Joseph survived the attack, but in September the same year the school authorities fired him, without any possibility of a pension.
According to Sajan George, the most serious aspects of this episode “was the attitude of the police, who registered the complaint against him and also arrested him, and of the institution, which has suspended him from duty. Fortunately, the Mahatma Gandhi University, to which Newman College is affiliated, revoked the decision of the school authorities and have offered him his job back.”