KOCHI: A key accused in the 2010 professor T J Joseph palm chopping case who allegedly kept tabs on the victim professor and passed on the information to the assailants surrendered before the NIA Court the other day.
Mohamed Rafi, 37, of Thottakkatukara, Aluva surrendered before the court on Tuesday. He came to the court with his lawyer. Following his surrender, he was remanded in judicial custody and shifted to the Ernakulam sub-jail.
“The NIA will file a petition seeking Rafi’s custody. Last year, the NIA had filed a chargesheet against him. Rafi was among those who kept a close watch on Joseph before the attack. He also provided medical aid to an assailant who attacked the professor on July 4, 2010,” said sources.
The NIA chargesheet against Rafi had claimed he was perturbed by the alleged ridiculing of Prophet Muhammad by Joseph and, after being instigated by M K Nazar, the 28th accused, pursued the common objective of the accused persons to avenge through terrorist acts. “Rafi, along with M K Nazar, P V Noushad, Subair, Jabeel and others, hatched a criminal conspiracy at different places in person and over the phone. He acted as a member of the terrorist gang, visited Muvattupuzha, watched the victim’s movement and gave inputs to assailants on July 4, 2010... thereby facilitating a lethal attack on the victim,” the chargesheet said.
The chargesheet said Rafi, as a part of the terrorist gang, caused terror by exploding explosive substance, caused communal disharmony and fear in the minds of the general public, created panic and hatred among different communities.
The NIA has filed charges under IPC Sections 118, 341, 427, 324, 326, 506(ii), 201, 202, 212, 153(A) and 307; Sections 3 and 6 of Explosive Substances Act; and Sections 16(1)(b), 18 and 20 of UAP Act.
In 2015, after completing the trial against 31 accused persons, the NIA Court convicted 13 persons and acquitted 18. Two main accused, Savad and Sajil, are still at large.