PFI Member, Suspect In SFI Activist Murder At Kochi College, Was Accused In 2010 Hand-Chopping Case: PolicePopular Front of India, an Islamist outfit, celebrates ‘Popular Front Day’. (PFI Website)

A Popular Front of India (PFI) activist, who was accused in the case in which a Kerala professor T J Joseph’s hand were cut in July 2010, played a key role in the murder of Students Federation of India (SFI) activist at Ernakulam Maharajah College on 1 July.

Malayalam daily Manorama reported that responding to a petition from relatives of the suspects in the Kerala High Court complaining police harassment of the suspects, state police informed the involvement of Manaf, who was the 13th accused in the case of attack on Joseph.

The High Court dismissed the petitions of the relatives of the accused and allowed the police to proceed with the probe into the killing.

Manaf was among the 18 acquitted by the National Investigation Authority Court in 2015 in the hand-chopping case for lack of evidence. Professor Joseph’s right palm was cut off a group of PFI activists on 4 July 2010 for setting up a question paper that allegedly insulted Prophet Muhammad. The paper was set for an internal exam at Newman College, Thodupuzha, where the professor taught Malayalam.

Four of the accused, including the one who led the attack, are absconding. Ten of the 13 accused were handed out eight years of rigorous imprisonment, while three were awarded a two-year jail term.

PFI is active on the campuses through its student wing Campus Front of India. The SFI activist was murdered over a dispute on posters to welcome freshers to the college.

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