After a four-year long legal battle with college authorities for his re-instatement, Prof T J Joseph, whose right hand was chopped off by fundamentalists in 2010, rejoined service at the church-run NewmanCollege in Idukki on Friday morning, three days before his retirement. However, since annual examinations are going on, he could not take classes.
Students clapped and his colleagues shook hands as the lecturer, who is recovering from the shock of his wife Salomi's suicide few days ago, rejoined service. Joseph, head of the Malayalam department, was suspended from service following the controversy over framing of a question paper in 2010. Alleging that the lecturer had hurt their religious sentiments, a fundamentalist outfit had brutally attacked the lecturer as he was returning with his family after a Sunday Mass on July 4, 2010.
The hand was later sutured back and he slowly recovered from the brutal attack.The family was going through tough times with the sole bread winner having no job. Salomi, 48, who stood by Joseph during his trying times, last week ended her life as the family was facing severe financial problems.
Within days of her death, the college decided to take him back before his retirement on March 31. Joseph was escorted to the college in Idukki district from Muvattupuzha in Ernakulam district by the police.