Hand chopping case: Charge sheet filed against 27 accused

Kochi, Jan 14 (PTI) Police today filed a charge sheetagainst 27 activists of the radical outfit Popular Front ofIndia accusing them of attempt to murder and other offences inthe brutal attack on a private college lecturer for hisoffensive references to Prophet Mohammed July last year.

The PFI actvists had chopped off the right hand of thelecturer for setting a question paper with alleged derogatoryreferences to Prophet Mohammed.

The accused, two of whom are absconding, have also beencharged under various provisions of the Explosive SubstancesAct and Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act for their attackon Prof T J Joseph, which had tiggered a national outrage.

The PFI activists are facing charges under IPC Sections 201(causing disappearance of evidence), 202 (intentional omissionto give information of offence), 212 (harbouring offender),307 (attempt to murder), 143 (unlawful assembly), 148 (riotingarmed with deadly weapon), 120(B) (Criminal conspiracy) and323 (causing hurt).

The charge sheet was filed before the First AdditionalSessions court, Ernakulam, V Shircy. The court had earlierissued Non-Bailable Warrant against 27 accused, who are yetto be arrested.

Of the total 54 accused in the case, the remaining 27accused are absconding.

Joseph, Malayalam Head of the Department of the PrivateNewman college in Thodupuzha was attacked on July 4 when hewas returning with his family members after a Sunday mass at achurch near his home in Muvattupuzha in Ernakulam district.

PFI Muslim radicals had accused Joseph of preparing aquestion paper for B.com semister students which reportedlyhad some references to Prophet Mohammed, consideredblasphemous by them.

Joseph''s hand was sutured back and he is still recoveringfrom the injuries. The college authorities have terminatedhis services.

The case has been posted to Jan 18.

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