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2010 hand chopping incident in Kerala - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

2010 hand chopping incident in Kerala - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
2010 hand chopping incident in Kerala

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2010 hand chopping incident in Kerala

Location Muvattupuzha, Kerala

Date 4 July 2010

08:30 IST (UTC+05:30)

Attack type Public attack in broad daylight

Injured 3 [1]

Belligerent Popular Front of India[2]

Suspected belligerent Islamic terrorism

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The 2010 hand chopping incident in Kerala occurred on 4 July 2010 at Muvattupuzha in the Kottayam district of Kerala, India.[3] Joseph, a professor of Malayalam at Newman College, Thodupuzha, a Christian minority institution affiliated to Mahatma Gandhi University [4] had his hand cut off at the wrist on allegation of blasphemy by Muslim radicals belonging to Popular Front of India, a confederation of radical[5][6] fanatic [7] Muslim fundamentalist [8] and extremist [9][10][11][12][13] organizations in South India. Some reports indicate the attack resulted from a ruling from a "taliban-style" court.[14][15] However, the state minister made a statement that government doesn't have information of such court, but there is a local formation of 'Dar-ul Khada' were functioning to resolve civil disputes.[16][17][18]

Contents [hide]

1 Background

2 The attack

3 Aftermath

4 Investigation

5 Response

6 Media

7 References

[edit] Background

The controversial question for BCom students at Newman College, ThodupuzhaT. J. Joseph, a professor of Malayalam language at Newman College, Thodupuzha, set a question in the Malayalam semester examination paper for BCom students in March 2010.

Page-58 of the approved book published by Kerala Bhasha Institute - essay from P. T. Kunju MuhammedIn the examination, question 11 asked students to punctuate a dialogue between a character and God. The dialogue was viewed by some as derogatory.[19] The passage was based on a lecture by CPI(M) leader P. T. Kunju Muhammed and included in a book – Thirakathayude Reethisasthram (Methodology of Screenplay), published by Kerala State Institute of Languages.[19][20] In the original text, the character talking to God was unnamed; in the examination, Joseph is said to have referred to the character as Muhammed, thus making it seem like a dialogue between God and Muhammed.[21]

The local edition of the Jamaat e Islami Hind newspaper, Madhyamam Daily reported the incident,[22] sparking off the controversy alleging blasphemy. Several Muslim organisations protested the alleged defamation of the Prophet Mohammed.[23] The Campus Front, the Popular Front of India's student wing, launched an agitation against the professor.[22] Student groups affiliated to the Indian National Congress and the Indian Union Muslim League also marched towards the college in protest.[24] Copies of the question paper was circulated in sensitive areas by various Muslim organizations.[citation needed]

An all-party meeting called by the District Collector decided to recommend action against the professor responsible for incorporating the question that reportedly hurt the religious sentiments of the community.[25]

The state police registered a case under Section 295 of the Indian Penal Code (for causing communal hatred) against the professor who subsequently went absconding. The police then issued a lookout notice for him and arrested him a week later. He was then released on bail in April. The Newman College authorities also suspended him from the college and apologised for the mistake.[26][27][28][29] His son was taken to hospital after being beaten up in police custody.[30]

[edit] The attack

On 4 July 2010, a group of eight people in a Maruti Omni waylaid the Professor near his home at Muvattupuzha. Joseph was pulled out of his car along with his sister and 85 year old mother. They were attacked with knives, swords, axe and home made bombs. Prof. Joseph’s right hand at the wrist was chopped off and thrown a few metres away in to a neighbour's compound . He has also suffered cuts and wounds in other parts of his body. His left hand from the wrist also have been severely damaged. His sister and aged mother of 85 years old also suffered injuries.[1][3][31] According to police, the attack was carried out by eight member team comprising of Savad of Asamannoor, Pareeth of North Vazhakkulam, Shobin of Kothamangalam, Nazar of Aluva, Shajil of Muvattupuzha, Shamsuddin of Perumbavoor, Shanvas and Jamal.[32]

[edit] Aftermath

A neighbour rushed Joseph to Nirmala Hospital where first aid was administered, while the severed hand was collected and packed in ice. Joseph was taken to the Specialists Hospital in Kochi where he underwent an operation that lasted 16 hours.

Joseph gave a media interview from his hospital bed, where he stated that he had used an extract from a university-approved book on the Malayalam language, and that his opponents did not give him an opportunity to explain the situation. He said that the naming of the village madcap as Muhammad had been done to represent the original author, P. T. Kunju Muhammed. Joseph's family made a statement that they forgive the attackers.[33]

On 24 July 2010, his suspension from the college was revoked by the Mahatma Gandhi University which described the issue as an "unintentional error". The attack on the teacher and his financial conditions were also considered.[34]

On 04 Sept 2010, the management of college terminated Prof TJ Joseph from service with effect from September for hurting the religious sentiments of a community.[35][36][37][38][39] Joseph who expressed grief over the management decision said that he never expected the same. He said that management has given the highest punishment for him and his family.[40]Terming the action of management as irrational, Pro-Left writers, cultural forums and teachers unions came in support of the Professor.[41][42][43][44]

[edit] Investigation

Images of unidentified attackers of hand chopping incident, from the Police look out notice.The state police arrested two activists of the Popular Front of India, Asharaf and Jaffer on the same day. According to the police, Asharaf had been privy to the entire operation, and had arranged the vehicle used by the assailants. The vehicle was then reportedly handed over to Jaffer for dismantling.

On the night of July 4, Aluva ASP J. Jayanath conducted a raid at the house of Mansoor, Eranakulam District Secretary of the Popular Front of India at Kunnathery, Aluva and seized documents and CDs which revealed the connection of PFI activists with the attack.[45]

Leaders of Popular Front of India, K K Ali, Yunus (30) and Nazar (40) involved in the incident from the Police look out notice.The Police inspector who is investigating the incident has received death threat from a PFI leader.[46] The State police was criticized when some of the officers of Ernakulam range made a deal with the Popular Front of India for ending investigation in the case. The move was reported to be thwarted by the involvement of state internal affairs minister. According to DGP Jacob Punnoose a new investigation team under Thrissur Crime Branch SP P.N. Unniraja was made in charge of investigation [47] Punnoose also informed that the crime was well organized with pumping in money.[48]

The Kerala State Police on 9 July 2010 issued 'look out notices' for three accused who were absconding after the attack. Ernakulam Rural Police Superintendent T Vikram, who issued the orders, identified the suspects as K K Ali, Yunus (30) and Nazar (40).

On July 8, 2010, a team led by Aluva ASP J Jayanath unearthed a gun from the house of Ayoob, a leader of the Popular Front of India.[49]

The state police also raided the houses and offices of Popular Front of India and its political arm Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) [50][51] at Muvattupuzha, Kothamangalam Perumbavoor, Chalakudy, Thrishur, Angamaly, Aluva, Cochin and Ernakulam.[50][51][52]

The Kerala state police seized explosives, country-made bombs, weapons and incriminating materials.[50][53][54][55] A CD linked to Al Qaeda has also been seized from a PFI leader Kunhumon,.[56][57] The police eventually booked him under anti- terrorism laws.[58] It is reported to be a propaganda CD with brutal killing and torture of westerners.[59][60][61] According to Police, the CDs have been in used condition and were used to train PFI activists to commit the crime. It also showed that the organization had contact with international bodies.[62] The CDs have been reported to be brought from either Afghanistan, Pakistan or the Gulf countries.[63]

Judicial First Class Magistrate Court, Muvattupuza, declared the absconding Popular Front of India leaders, K K Ali and Nazar as proclaimed offenders.[64]

A dentist, an active PFI worker, had been arrested on charges of sedition. Dr Raneef, a native of Aluva near Kochi, had given first aid to one of the assailants who was injured during the attack. Two books that speak against democracy have been recovered from the doctor, who had been associated with extremist activities since 2002. Copies of one of the seized books, Islam and Democracy, had been recovered from a SIMI camp held in 2006 at Aluva.[65]

On July 21, 2010, the Kerala police arrested the Popular Front of India leader, who was suspected to be one of the conspirators behind the attack on Professor. Yunus, 33, a divisional leader of the PFI, was arraigned as the fourth accused in the case.[65]

Based on the confessions of Yunus, cases of conspiracy have been registered against Shiyas, divisional secretary of PFI's Nellimattam unit in Ernakulam district and Mohammed Ali of Muvattupuzha, while a case has been registered against Latheef of Aluva and MoideenKutty of Valancherry in Malappuram district for harboring some of the accused involved in the attack on Joseph.[66]

On August 13, 2010, The Aluva police led by ASP J.Jayanath arrested six activists of the Popular Front of India while they were holding a meeting and attempting to distribute propaganda booklets. 320 copies of the book "Asavarnarkku Nallathu Islam", which contained material tarnishing Hindu and Christian religions, were seized from the hall where the meeting was being held .[67][68]

On 15 August, police arrested Niyaz against whom a look out notice had been issued in the case relating to the attack as he was traveling in a train from Tamil Nadu to Kerala.He was arrested when the train reached Shoranur.[69] Niyas reportedly owned the Lancer car recovered by Aluva police from Kunjunnikkara on 29 July.[70]

On 17 August, police team led by Debesh Kumar Behera, ACP (South) raided Nanma books in Court Road, Kozhikode and a huge cache of books and compact discs containing incriminating and anti-national content were seized the publishing firm.[71]

P Abdul Hameed, Kerala state general secretary of the Popular Front of India, was questioned by the Special Investigation Team probing the hand-chopping case in Ernakulam on 17 August.Earlier on 16 August , Prof P Koya, chief editor of Thejas daily and member of PFI supreme council, was questioned at the Aluva police club by the SIT.[72]

On August 19, Special Investigation Team (SIT) officials questioned Nazeruddin Elamaram, President of the Popular Front of India at Muvattupuzha.[73]

Shamsuddin, one of the attackers in the team, who hails from Perumbavoor was arrested from Palakkad by the police on August 20.[74] Based on the information provided by him police arrested Jamal from the Beemapally area in Thiruvananthapuram on August 28.[75][76] Announcing Jamal's arrest, SP P N Unnirajan, heading the SIT told the newsmen that the trial of the case would be conducted in the special court in Ernakulam where the NIA cases were also handled.[77]

On August 26,The National Investigation Agency (NIA) told the Kerala High Court that they are not planning to investigate the case as charges framed by the police does not cover anti-national terrorist activities[78] On the same day SIT questioned M Usman, Managing Director of Thejas daily.[79]

KK Ali, who purchased the van which was used by the attackers, from Lawrance of Thrissur, two weeks prior to the attack was arrested by SIT from Pollachi on August 30.[80]

Police arrested Shobin, a B-Tech graduate of Kothamangalam, and Shanavaz alias Shemy of Valluvalli near North Paravur, from the Coimbatore railway station on September 6.[81]

On September 6, 2010, the Kerala Government informed the state high court that investigators found no evidence of a connection between the Popular Front of India with Hizbul Mujahideen, Lashkar-e Taiba (Let) or al-Qaeda.[82][83]

On September 8, Kerala High Court dismissed the bail applications of seven activists of Popular Front of India- Siyad, Sikander, Kamarudeen, Abdul Lateef, Moideen Kutty, Shiyas and Mohammed Ali. Turning down their bail pleas, Justice V Ramkumar said the objective of the activity was to disturb harmony and tranquility of the society and to create fear. It would be held to be a terror activity.[84][85]

On September 15, the Kerala government transferred four cases registered against PFI activists to the Internal Security Investigation Team (ISIT) which probes terrorism-related incidents.[86]

On September 17, the Kerala High Court gave bail to Dr.Raneef . The complaint of Dr Raneef that the police conducted a raid at his residence and hospital to come out with allegedly incriminating CDs , leaflets etc. as he refused to oblige the Aluva ASP J.Jayanath to become an approver by confessing that he was a conspirator in the hand chopping case , was accepted by the court while considering his bail application.[87]

On October 7, Police arrested Pareeth of Vazhakkulam, who was directly involved in the attack from Mangalore in Karnataka.[88] Some reports suggest that Pareeth, who was hiding in Mumbai actually surrendered before the police in a deal with PFI.[89]

[edit] Response

The Kerala State Assembly raised its voice in unison to strongly condemn the hacking of T.J. Joseph, by fundamentalist elements on the following day.[90]

Various Muslim organizations including the Indian Union Muslim League(IUML) condemned the attacks as "against the tenets of Islam".[91][92] A rally under the banner of Muslim Aiykyavedi (Muslim United Front) was organized the next day in Muvattupuzha and Perumbavoor. They also blocked the local police station at Perumbavoor demanding the release of arrested Popular Front of India leaders. The protest though was dismissed by other Muslim organizations as a ploy by the Popular Front of India and challenged it to name any other organization involved in the protest.[93][94] A meeting of all the major Muslim organizations in Kerala proclaimed that the hand chopping incident has been a shame to the Muslim community in Kerala. They have also decided to isolate radical outfits like Popular Front of India and Jamaat e Islami Hind[95]

The Kothamangalam diocese demanded National Investigation Agency inquiry in to the entire incident. The Bishop of Kothamangalam diocese, Mar George Punnakottil issued pastoral letters condemning the attack on Professor and demanding nabbing of culprits. Prayer meetings and silent protest marches were also organized in various churches and locations.[96] Christian organizations like Global Council of Indian Christians and Catholic Bishops' Conference of India (CBCI) condemned the act and demanded that the attackers be brought to justice soon and be exemplary punished.[97][98]

The Bharatiya Janata Party set up a four-member panel headed by Mr Harin Pathak,senior Supreme Court lawyer, Pinky Anand, Goa BJP Vice-President, Wilfred Misquita and Advocate Balasubramanium Kamarasu. The Committee met with the members of family of Prof. Joseph to get a first-hand report on the sequence of events during the attack. They demanded a probe by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) into the incident. Mr Harin Pathak alleged that the Kerala Government had failed miserably in combating terror and the State was becoming a breeding ground for terrorist activities. He also demanded that outfits like the NDF and Popular Front of India should be banned and the State Government produce a white paper on the investigation into terror activities in the state. He also noted that his party would highlight the gruesome attack on Prof. Joseph in the upcoming session of the Indian Parliament.[99][100]

[edit] Media

The Hindu in its editorial said "Freedom of expression has increasingly come under attack from religious fanatics in democratic and secular India and it is the duty of society and the political system to intervene more effectively to defend those who are targeted even if they express unpopular views”. The Hindu also noted in its editorial that "The act of a gang that cut off the hand of a college teacher, by wielding an axe on a thoroughfare in Kerala in broad daylight, had Talibanism writ all over it. This act of barbarism, however, points to the rise of blood-thirst driven by religious fundamentalism that certain fringe elements may be seeking to impose on the State. That it was a planned operation carried out with brutal intent adds to the shock.".[101]

Litt√©rateur M.N. Karasseri, himself a retired professor and someone who keeps tabs on Muslim politics, noted in an Outlook article, “The Muslim youth today are looking for idealism and adventure. They are being misguided by the proponents of Maududism that espouses a do-or-die battle for ensuring hukumathe ilahi (the rule of Allah). The SDPI (Socialist Democratic Party of India), Jamaat (Jamaat e Islami Hind) and several other outfits subscribe to this philosophy. If the rest of society does not realise the inherent danger, more Taliban-model reprisals will follow.” [22]

Progressive Muslim writer Hameed Chennamangaloor says in an Economic Times article, "the circumstances are ideal for fanatics to convince their community members here that the problems their community faces in Iraq or Afghanistan are their own problems. The fact is that the problems of even the Muslims in Kerala are quite different from their community members in northern states. Some of these groups have more funds than even mainline political parties like the Congress or the CPM, and can hire any number of hands".[102]

[edit] References

1.^ a b


3.^ a b

4.^ "Two held for chopping off Ernakulam professor's palm". The Hindu. 2010-07-06.















19.^ a b Newman: Q sourced from Kunhumohammed article. New Indian Express[dead link]



22.^ a b c

23.^[dead link]




27.^ College principal faces MGU axe. - The New Indian Express

28.^ College teacher held. The New Indian Express

29.^ Cops on the lookout for college professor. The New Indian Express

30.^ Indiavision, 3 April 2010, 11:20 IST (5:50 UTC)



33.^ "India family 'forgives' attackers". BBC News. 8 July 2010.

34.^ Kerala Professor's suspension revoked – The Hindu






40.^ Never expected this, says Prof. TJ Joseph










50.^ a b c

51.^ a b














65.^ a b

















82.^ "Police probing PFI's alleged links with LeT, al-Qaeda & Hizbul". Deccan Herald. 2010-09-06.








90.^ Assembly condemns attack in one voice - The Hindu

91.^ Attack against Islamic tenets: Muslim leaders

92.^ Two held for chopping off Ernakulam professor's palm

93.^ Hand chopping incident: CPM tries to gain political Advantage - Malayala Manorama

94.^ Do not give religious colours to protest: SSF

95.^ Hand Chopping incident shame to Muslims - Mangalam








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Leaders Ahmad Sirhindi · Maulana Mehmud Hasan · Maulana Ubaidullah Sindhi · Maulana Muhammad Ali Jauhar · Maulana Shaukat Ali · Muhammad Iqbal · Allama Mashriqi · Abul Ala Maududi · Maulana Shah Ahmad Noorani · Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq · Maulana Fazal-ur-Rehman · Ghulam Azam · Matiur Rahman Nizami · Grand Ayatollah Muhammad Hussain Najafi · Grand Ayatollah Bashir Hussain Najafi · Tahir-ul-Qadri · Riaz Ahmed Gohar Shahi · Muhammad Taqi Usmani · Jalaluddin Umri · Israr Ahmed · Javed Ahmad Ghamidi · Qazi Hussain Ahmad · Allama Arif Hussain Hussaini · Delwar Hossain Sayidee · Yusuf Islahi

Events and controversies Khilafat Movement · Anti-Ahmadiyya riots · Zia-ul-Haq's Islamization · Hudood ordinance · Shah Bano case · 1995 Pakistani coup d'√©tat attempt · Hasba bill · Blasphemy Law · 2008 Murshidabad beheading · 2010 hand chopping incident in Kerala · Love Jihad · 2010 Deganga riots

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