Bringing to an end a four-year-old wait, T.J. Joseph, Head of the Department of Malayalam, Newman College, Thodupuzha, was on Friday granted permission to be readmitted to the college by the Muvattupuzha Bishop House. Mr. Joseph reached the college at 9.30 a.m. when he was given a rousing reception by the teachers and students.

Francis Allappat, college manager, received him at the college entrance and accompanied him to the Principal's chamber. His former students and colleagues had also arrived at the college to meet him.

Talking to reporters, Mr. Joseph said he was thankful to those who had backed him during the last four years.

He also thanked Leader of the Opposition V.S. Achuthanandan who had held talks with the management seeking his reinstatement.

Mr. Joseph was suspended in March 2010 after a controversy over a question paper that he had prepared.

The issue took communal overtones among some fundamentalists who chopped off his right palm in an attack. He was later suspended from the college. A case registered against him by the Thodupuzha police was dismissed by a court in Thodupuzha last year, paving the way for his reinstatement.

Mr. Joseph offered tributes to his wife Salomi at the cemetery of the Nirmala Matha Church, Muvattupuzha in the morning.

His sister, Mary Stella, accompanied him. He returned home at 4.15 p.m.

The college management is planning to accord a farewell to Mr. Joseph on Monday when he would bid goodbye to the college.