Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Nine get jail, one acquitted in Kandhamal riots case

Bhubaneswar: Nine people were convicted and sentenced to four years in jail by a trial court on Tuesday for their role in the riots in Orissa's Kandhamal district in 2008. One man was acquitted due to lack of evidence.

'Nine people were convicted and sentenced to a four-year jail term and fined Rs.5,500 each in a case of arson during Kandhamal riots. One man named Hrushi Pradhan has been acquitted in the absence of evidence,' P.K. Patra, the public prosecutor, said.

The Fast Track Court-II Judge C.R. Das convicted the nine people of Salesaru village for torching the house of Balusan Digal and other villagers on Aug 25, 2008.

Kandhamal district, about 200 km from here, witnessed widespread violence after the killing of Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati and four of his aides at his ashram on Aug 23, 2008.

More than 25,000 Christians were forced to flee after their houses were attacked by rampaging mobs that held Christians responsible for Saraswati's killing, although the police blamed the Maoists.

The government has set up two fast track courts to try cases related to the communal violence.