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Assembly condemns attack in one voice

Special Correspondent

Assault on Newman College professor



Kodiyeri Balakrishnan promises probe to see if there was intelligence failure.

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Assembly on Monday raised its voice in unison to strongly condemn the hacking of T.J. Joseph, professor at Newman College, Thodupuzha, by fundamentalist elements on Sunday.

Home Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, Leader of the Opposition Oommen Chandy, Kerala Congress(M) leader K.M. Mani and Culture Minister M.A. Baby strongly deplored the incident and hoped that secular Kerala would strongly repudiate all such attempts to disrupt the State's community amity.

Raising the issue through a submission, Babu Paul (CPI) and P.J. Joseph (KC-M) demanded an investigation to see if there was intelligence failure as there were reports that the assailants had kept the moves of the college teacher under close tabs days before the attack.

The Minister said the government would certainly look into the question whether there was any intelligence failure. He said a special team headed by the Muvattupuzha Deputy Superintendent of Police was investigating the case under the supervision of the Inspector-General of Police, Ernakulam range. Terming the incident a ‘Taliban-model attack,' the Minister said the government would not permit anyone to get away with such actions. He urged the Opposition to stand by the government to isolate such elements.

Describing the attack on the professor ‘barbaric,' the Opposition leader urged the government to view the secret motives behind the attack. The timing of the attack itself was designed to create a communal divide. Given the reports that the assailants had carried out a few dry runs before carrying out the attack, the government must try to expose the conspiracy behind the incident. The Opposition would fully support all such attempts by the government, Mr. Chandy said. The Home Minister immediately concurred with him and said the conspiracy angle was being looked into.

Mr. Mani sought an apology from Mr. Baby for his reported remark that the teacher was a ‘fool' in a speech in Kozhikode on Sunday, but the Minister said that his observation was wrongly reported by the media.

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