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Dismissal was an extreme step: Baby

Staff Reporter

Thrissur: Education Minister M.A. Baby has come down heavily on Thodupuzha Newman College management for its decision to dismiss its teacher T.J. Joseph, whose palm was chopped off allegedly by activists of a radical organisation.

Addressing presspersons here on Friday, the Minister said the decision was against rules and statutes of the Mahatma Gandhi University. “Dismissal was an extreme step. It was like awarding life sentence for a petty crime,” he said. Asked whether the government would intervene, the Minister said the university had asked the management to review the decision.

“Let us hope that the college management will positively respond to the university's directive,” he said.

The university Syndicate on Thursday gave direction to the management to reconsider the action against the teacher since it involved “gross violation of procedures.” Meanwhile, the management rejected Joseph's plea to take him back to service.

In its reply to Mr. Joseph's letter, the management maintained that he would have to opt for legal remedy for relaxation of the disciplinary action.

Bishop's circular

Staff Reporter writes from Kochi: A circular issued by Kothamangalam Bishop Mar George Punnakottil on the dismissal of Mr. Joseph will be read out in churches under the diocese on Sunday.

It speaks of the college being forced to take the decision, since the allegedly blasphemous question in a question paper set for a class of 32 students by the teacher had done *irreparable' damage to the reputation of the college and the values that it preached.

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