On Friday, the special court in Ernakulam (Kerala) found 13 people guilty in connection with the cutting of the hand of a Christian professor after he was accused of blasphemy. Part of his arm had been cut off in 2010.
According to Asianews reports ten defendants were sentenced to eight years in prison, the other three got two years. In addition to jail time, the culprits will have to pay the victim damages of 800,000 rupees (US$ 12,500)
“We are pleased with the verdict. No one can resort to barbaric and violent actions for an alleged insult to Islam. This cruel and gruesome act was one of the most depraved I ever saw,” said Sajan K George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC).
Popular Front of India activists attacked TJ Joseph, a Malayalam literature professor at Newman College in Thodupuzha in July 2010 as he made his way home after church with his mother and sister.
The attackers claimed they cut off his right hand and part of his right arm to punish him for the “sacrilegious undertones” of an item on a questionnaire he had submitted to his pupils.
At the time of the attack, the teacher was out on bail. He had been arrested in April 2010 because of the questionnaire, which some Muslim groups deemed offensive to the Prophet Mohammed.