Kochi: A special NIA court here on Friday sentenced 10 persons to eight years jail term in the sensational hand chopping case of T J Joseph, professor of Newman College in Thodupuzha in Idukki, in 2010.
The Special NIA court Judge P Sasidharan gave two years jail term to three persons — Abdul Lateef, Anwar Sadique and Riyas – over charges under Section 212 of IPC dealing with harbouring offenders.
The court also ordered that an amount of RS 8 lakh as restitution from the convicts be given to the victim.
Those who were sentenced to eight years in jail are Kalappura Veetil Jamal (44), K M Muhammed Shobin (28), Shamsuddin (37), Punnakal Shanavas (32), Kaipalli Veetil K A Pareedh (36), Yunus Aliyar (34), Ayyukudi Veetil Shejeer (32), K E Kasim, Paruthikaatukudi Jafar (33), and K K Ali (34). They were found guilty under various sections of the central law dealing with terror — the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).
Besides UAPA, the court has also found the 10 convicts guilty under various sections of Explosive Substances Act and IPC that deals with criminal conspiracy and attempt to murder.
Eighteen people were acquitted by the court citing lack of evidence against them in the case.
The 13 persons owing allegiance Popular Front of India (PFI) were convicted in the case in which the right hand of T J Joseph was chopped while he was returning home after attending a Sunday mass at a church in Muvattupuzha in Ernakulam district on July 4, 2010.
The court in its judgment said the prosecution has proved beyond all reasonable doubts that eight of the accused along with some others entered into a criminal conspiracy to eliminate the professor by inflicting grievous injuries.
They did it out of enmity towards Joseph accusing him of hurting religious sentiments of a community through a question paper he set for his students.
The court, which began the trial of the case in July 2013, had examined over 300 prosecution witnesses, four defence witnesses, over 950 prosecution documents, nearly 30 defence documents, and over 200 material objects.
Thirty-seven persons were charge-sheeted by the NIA in the case. However, 31 only underwent trial as the remaining six, including first accused Savad were absconding.
Joseph, head of the Malayalam department in the college, was suspended from service following the controversy over framing of a ‘derogatory’ question paper in 2010. His family went through tough times after he became jobless. His wife Salomi, who stood by Joseph during his trying times, ended her life last year as the family was facing severe financial problems.
Within days of her death, the college took him back before his retirement on March 31, last year.