Fanatics chop off teacher’s hand for ‘blasphemy’

2010-07-05 12:55

Islamist radicals in India’s southern state of Kerala have chopped

off the hand of a college lecturer who was accused of putting a derogatory

reference to the Prophet Mohammed in an exam.

TJ Joseph was returning from a church service in the central

Ernakulam district yesterday when he was attacked in “a horrific instance of

Talibanism,” the Times of India reported today.

“We had just got into our car when a van pulled up. Around eight

people with swords and knives emerged and pulled out Joseph after smashing the

windscreen,” his sister Mary Stella, a nun, told the daily.

“They chopped off his right hand and stabbed him in the left

thigh,” she said, adding that the assailants fled after detonating bombs.

The 52-year-old lecturer was admitted in a private hospital where

his condition was described as serious.

In March, Islamic groups held protests against Joseph over part of

an exam for undergraduate commerce students. They claimed that a test question

had insulted the prophet.

The question quoted director PT Kunjumuhammed discussing a scene

from his film Garshom in which a dialogue appears between the Prophet Mohammed

and God.

Two men, said to be activists of the religious Popular Front

organisation, were arrested after the attack on Sunday.

Indian security officials said Islamic fundamentalism was on the

rise in Kerala, where Muslims, Christians and Hindus had lived in amity for

centuries.

Some analysts have warned that Kerala could emerge as a base for

militants, with radical Islamic organisations holding sway, particularly in the

northern Malabar area.

 

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