The infamous hand chop case of a Kerala college lecturer, TJ Joseph, in July 2010 was one of the several cases used as a reference by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) for its nationwide crackdown on Popular Front of India (PFI) offices throughout the country.
The NIA raided and arrested 45 PFI members on Thursday following raids conducted in 93 locations in 15 states, including Kerala.
In a release issued by the agency explaining the reason for raids conducted at the houses and offices of top PFI leaders and members, the NIA mentions the hand chop case in addition to 'cold-blooded killings of persons associated with organisations espousing other faiths, collection of explosives to target prominent people and places, support to Islamic State and destruction of public property'.
The hand chop case in which Joseph, Malayalam lecturer of Newman College, Thodupuzha was attacked and his right hand chopped off is one of the most chilling cases involving the PFI reported in Kerala.
The raids were a coordinated operation involving the NIA, Enforcement Directorate and state police units. The raids were done in Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Delhi, Assam, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Goa, West Bengal, Bihar and Manipur.
The NIA release says it is investigating 19 PFI-related cases, including five that were initially registered at Nizamabad Police Station in Telangana.
In the Nizamabad case, 25 PFI cadre were booked for allegedly 'organising camps for imparting training to commit violent and terrorist acts with the objective of promoting enmity between different groups on the basis of religion etc.'.
Of the 45 arrested by NIA following the raids, 19 are from Kerala namely OMA Salam, Jaseer KP, Nazaruddin Elamaram, Mohammed Basheer, Shafeer KP, E Abubacker, Prof P Koy (Kaleem Koya), EM Abdul Rahiman, Najumudeen Muhammed, Sainuddeen TS, Yahiya Koya Thangal, K Muhammedali (Kunhappo), CT Sulaiman, PK Usman (Usman Perumpilavu), Karamana Ashraf Moulavi, Sadiq Ahmed, Shihas Hassan, Ansari P and MM Mujeeb.
In 2015, a special NIA court convicted 13 men responsible for the attack on Joseph. They had unleashed the act of terror on him for framing a question in an internal examination paper that they deemed blasphemous. His hand was surgically reattached. Joseph wrote a memoir 'Attupokatha Ormakal' (A Thousand Cuts) for which he won the Kerala Sahitya Akademi Award.