The prospects for a democracy to succeed in upholding human rights and a free society are ultimately only as good as the values that inform those who participate in it. An update on this story. “Kerala man accused of chopping hand wins poll,” from the Press Trust of India, October 28 (thanks to GS):
Thiruvananthapuram: Contesting from prison, an accused in the sensational case of chopping off the hand of Thodupuzha Newman college lecturer TJ Joseph, has won from a block panchayat division in Ernakulam in the civic body elections.
Anas won from the Vanchinad division of Vazhakkulam block in Ernakulam district on a ticket of Socialist Democratic Party of India (SDPI), political arm of Popular Front of India (PFI), whose activists were allegedly behind the attack on Joseph for preparing a question paper containing blasphemous references to Prophet Mohammed.
First, whose prophet? And Joseph was then fired in addition to being maimed.
Anas, now in judicial custody and lodged in the Viyyur central jail in connection with the case, won from the division defeating the nearest UDF candidate by a margin of more than 1,000 votes, while the LDF candidate came third.
The accused, who contested the seat after getting permission of the local court, could neither campaign for the poll nor cast his vote. Anas is the 47th accused in the case.