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Charges framed in lecturer hand chopping case

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Nearly three years after a group of radical Muslims in chopped off the hand of a college lecturer for alleged blasphemy, an NIA here today framed charges against 29 accused in the case, setting the stage for commencement of trial.

National Investigation Agency Special Court Judge S Vijayakumar read out the charges to the accused and posted the case to April 29 for starting the trial.

The accused have been charged under sections of Unlawful Activities (Prevention Act), Explosive Substances Act, Criminal Conspiracy, voluntarily causing injuries using dangerous weapons and criminal intimidation, sources said.

Prof T J Jospeh of private Newman College in Muvattupuzha, was attacked by suspected Popular Front of activists when he was returning with his family after Sunday mass on July 4, 2010.

The barbaric act, which triggered national outrage, was carried out as a punishment to the lecturer for allegedly preparing a question paper which had some references to Prophet Mohammed.

There are total 54 accused in the case, but others are absconding.

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