27 PFI activists chargesheeted in lecturer attack case

Kochi, Jan 14 (PTI) Six months after the barbaric attack ona lecturer in which his hand was cut off for alleged blasphemyagainst Prophet Mohammed, 27 members of radical outift PFI andits political arm were today chargesheeted for sedition andwaging war against the country.

The accused have also been charged with offences undervarious provisions of the Explosive Substances Act andUnlawful Activities (Prevention) Act for their attack on ProfT J Joseph in July last year.

The lecturer of the Newman College in Thodupuzha wastargeted for settting a question paper in Malayalam for B.Comsemester exam which reportedly had some references to ProphetMohammed, considered blasphemous by PFI Muslim radicals.

Joseph was returning home with his family from a Sundaymass when the assailants attacked him near his home inMuvattupuzha in Ernakulam District, chopping of his righthand, in the incident which triggered a national outrage.

Police filed the chargesheet against the 27 members ofPopular Front of India and its political affiliate SocialDemocratic Party of India before Ernakulam First AdditionalSessions Court Judge V Shircy. Two of the accused areabsconding. The case has been posted to Jan 18.

The PFI and SDPI activists are facing charges under variousIPC Sections ranging from 122 (collecting arms with intentionof waging war), 124-A (sedition), 307 (attempt to murder) to148 (rioting armed with deadly weapon) and 153 (A) (promotingenmity between different groups on grounds of religion).

There were a total of 54 accused in the case and 27 ofthem, against whom non-bailable warrants have been issued, areabsconding.

Joseph''s hand was sutured back and he is still recoveringfrom the injuries.

Speaking to PTI, Joseph said he had forgiven all those whohad attacked him on the day of the attack and had no anger orenmity toward them or anyone. ''Our country has laws andregulations and let the law take its own course'', he said.

Joseph, whose services were terminated by the NewmanCollege management, has filed an appeal before the MahatmaGandi University Appellate Tribunal which would come up forhearing on Jan 29.

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