The Deacon's Bench

It happened in India:

Suspected Islamic militants have chopped off a Catholic professor’s hand in Kerala for allegedly insulting Islam in an exam question paper.

Professor T.J. Joseph was attacked on July 4 in while returning home from Sunday mass with his mother and sister, a Catholic nun.

Kochi inspector-general of police, B. Sandya, told that an Islamic extremist group is suspected of the crime and have arrested four people and impounded a vehicle.

She said the attackers used the vehicle to block Joseph’s car before dragging the professor from his vehicle and chopping off his right hand. The attackers then threw the hand away before fleeing.

Church-managed Newman College in Thodupuzha had suspended Joseph, its Malayalam professor, on March 25 for allegedly preparing a question paper with insulting references to the Prophet Muhammad.

St. Joseph Sister Mary Stella said the assailants attacked her brother with an axe and swords.

“They also attacked our elderly mother,” before fleeing, she said.

Her brother had been threatened three times following the question paper row, she added.

Police say officials suspect the Popular Front of India, an extremist group and its political wing the Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) for being behind the attack.

There’s more background at the link.

Meantime, this report indicates doctors spent most of the day in surgery trying to re-attach the hand:

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.

You can find more reports with other details here and here.

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