PFI leader held for attack on lecturer

The Kerala police on Wednesday arrested a Popular Front of India (PFI) leader, who was suspected to be one of the conspirators behind the attack on college lecturer T J Joseph. Yunus, 33, a divisional leader of the PFI, was arraigned as the fourth accused in the case. He was remanded to judicial custody by a magistrate court in Muvattupuzha.

Joseph was attacked because he allegedly insulted religious sentiments. Police sources said Yunus, a native of Ernakulam, had been involved in planning the attack and hiring the assailants, although he was not among the gang that chopped off the lecturer's hand on July 4. A lookout notice had been pending against him and two others.

Recently, a dentist, an active PFI worker, had been arrested on charges of sedition. Dr Raneef, a native of Aluva near Kochi, had given first aid to one of the assailants who was injured during the attack. Two books that speak against democracy have been recovered from the doctor, who had been associated with extremist activities since 2002. Copies of one of the seized books, Islam and Democracy, had been recovered from a SIMI camp held in 2006 at Aluva.

Meanwhile, district collectors of Ernakulam, Kottayam and Kozhikode have banned the freedom parade the PFI had been planning to take out on Independence Day. The police have warned that the situation prevailing after the attack on the lecturer, was not conducive to the parade, an annual event.

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