[Representational Image]Creative Commons/Cuba Gallery

Thirteen people were convicted on Thursday for the 'Taliban-like' attack on a professor in Kerala, in which they chopped off his hand after accusing him of insulting the Prophet.  

Some extremists from the Popular Front of India, an Islamic fundamentalist outfit, had in 2010 cut off Professor TJ Joseph's right hand for including a controversial question that allegedly had a reference to Prophet Mohammad, in an exam paper. 

The professor was arrested on charges of hurting religious sentiments, but was later released on bail. 

On 5 July, 2010, when he was returning home from a church, a gang of men pulled him out of his car and chopped off his right hand. The professor's hand was stitched back in a 15-hour long operation in Kochi.

The National Investigation Agency court held 14 guilty but acquitted 17 others on Thursday. The quantum of punishment will be announced next week. 

The question that had led to a riot-like situation in Thodupuzha, Kerala, was reportedly taken from a text of writer P T Kunhimuhammed, about a conversation between God and a man called Mohammed.

It was part of an internal exam for students of Newman College, Thodupuzha.

A student had reportedly written in response to the question that - 'It is very difficult and insulting to my religion to write about God and Mohammed and so I am changing it to a conversation between two brothers', according to

Joseph had gone into hiding after the furore over the exam paper, and was even dismissed by the college management. 

A magistrate court in Kerala had cleared the professor of charges of insulting the Prophet in 2013, but he was still denied his job.