It was cut off by seven people in broad daylight when Joseph was on his way home from church with his family on Sunday morning. An axe was used on Joseph. It was his sister who picked up his severed hand and carried it to the hospital in a plastic bag. "They pulled him out of the car and hacked him mercilessly," she said.
Two people with alleged links to a radical Muslim organization, Popular Front, have been arrested in connection with the attack, criticized widely by moderate Muslim leaders.
Joseph, age 52, is a lecturer at Newman College in Kerala's Muvattupuzha district. He was granted bail in April after being arrested for giving preparing a controversial exam at his college - some local Muslim groups said a reference to Prophet Mohammed in the exam paper was offensive.
In the Kerala Assembly, Home Minister Kodiyari Balakrishnan said Government will not allow such "Taliban-type" attacks.
A statement from groups including the All India Milli Council and All India Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawarat described the attack as un-Islamic. "We find that the attack on the Kerala lecturer is against the basic tenets of Islam and the Sunnah of the Prophet which emphasis on forgiveness. Islam explicitly forbids taking law and order into one's hands in the presence of competent authorities to deal with an issue. We hope that law will take its due course to punish the criminals who attacked the professor. They have clearly sinned and defamed Islam by committing this crime which we condemn without reservations."
Joseph's doctors say he will remain in emergency care for at least another week. "When he was brought to the hospital, he was almost dead. There were some fractures and injuries all over the body. He had lost a lot of blood," shared Dr R Jaykumar. (With PTI inputs)