Kerala professor, whose hand was chopped off by PFI men, says he holds no grudges
Professor T J Joseph, despite enduring a traumatic incident in 2010 where his right hand was severed by individuals allegedly associated with the now banned Islamic organisation, Popular Front of India (PFI), continues to hold no animosity towards his assailants.
The brutal act not only caused a permanent impairment in his hand’s functionality but also resulted in a temporary loss of his job, which led to his wife dying by suicide.
Joseph firmly believes that his life was not destroyed by what happened 13 years ago, but admitted that it did undergo some changes and he did suffer some losses.
“Losses are inevitable in any battle. Even for those who are victorious, like me. But I will keep fighting,” he told reporters after a special NIA court on Wednesday convicted six persons, who are allegedly members of PFI, in the sensational hand chopping case in the second phase of the trial in the matter.
Five others were acquitted by the court.
In the first phase of the trial in the case, 13 persons were convicted for various offences ranging from those under the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) to the Explosives Substances Act and the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
“Unmoved by verdict”
Joseph said he was unmoved by the verdict as he has never believed that punishing an accused means delivery of justice to the victim.
“It only means that the law of the land has been implemented, according to me. So, actually, whether they are convicted or acquitted, personally I do not care either way,” he said.
He further said those caught and convicted in the case “were only the weapons” and the real culprits who engineered the attack are still out there. “It is against them that my battle continues,” Joseph said.
The professor said that just like him, the accused in the case were also victims.
“They are victims of their beliefs which led them to attack me and now they are facing the consequences for the same,” he said and added that if this belief system does not change, such incidents might occur in the future.
On being asked whether he was scared for his life, as the main accused in the case — Savad — who chopped off his hand was still absconding, Joseph said he was not.
“I am not scared. I lived my life on my terms and will continue to do so in future. If an accused has not been caught, it only indicates a failure of the system,” he said.
Joseph said that while he was never anxious as to what the verdict would be, he did have the basic curiosity — that any average citizen would have — to know what happened in the case.
The right hand of Joseph, professor of Newman College in Thodupuzha in Idukki district, was chopped off by the alleged PFI activists on July 4, 2010.
The attack took place while the professor was returning home with his family after attending a Sunday mass at a church in Muvattupuzha in Ernakulam district.
The attackers, a group of seven people, pulled the professor out of the vehicle, assaulted him and then his right hand was chopped off by main accused Savad who is still absconding.
According to the police that initially probed the case, the accused wanted to kill Joseph for derogatory religious remarks in a question paper he set for BCom semester examination in Newman College.
(With agency inputs)