Massive support for Kerala lecturer whose hands were chopped off

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Thiruvananthapuram:  Kerala lecturer T J Joseph, whose hand was chopped off by fundamentalists four months ago for allegedly insulting the Prophet in a question paper, made his first public appearance at an event on Tuesday.

The function was organized by colleagues and Left-leaning intellectuals to express solidarity to him.

Joseph said he was touched by the support he has received from various quarters."Neither the brutal attack on me nor my dismissal from service has weakened my resolve. It is the love and blessings of well-wishers that has moistened my eyes," he said.

The lecturer is now fighting a legal battle against the Newman College management which dismissed him from service for allegedly hurting religious sentiments. Despite the huge public outcry, the college management has refused to reconsider its decision.

"Earlier we thought that the college management would agree for a compromise. But I am very much doubtful. I don't see any signs of a compromise," said Marie Stella, T J Joseph's sister.

The University Appellate Tribunal has posted hearing in the case for next week and Joseph believes the support and encouragement from friends and well-wishers will help him fight the tough legal battle ahead.

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