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INDIAN NEWS
Lawmaker gets jail again for Christian Murder
Published Date: September 10, 2010

An Orissa court on Thursday sentenced Manoj Pradhan, a member of state legislative house, for the murder of a Christian during the 2008 riots in state’s Kandhamal district.

This was the second murder case in which Pradhan, arrested from Berhampur in December 2008, has been convicted. He has been on bail after the first sentence.

The latest verdict sentenced Pradhan to six years of rigorous imprisonment for the murder of Bikram Nayak of Budedipada of Tiangia village on August 26, 2008.

The fast track court, dealing with riots cases, also slapped a fine of Rs. 15,500 on the convict for setting ablaze houses of people belonging to the minority community and inciting communal violence.

Pradhan represents the communally sensitive G Udayagiri assembly constituency as Member of Legislative Assembly.

At least 12 cases were registered against Pradhan for his alleged involvement in the riots in Kandhamal which Church people say claimed at least 90 lives.

The riots followed the killing of Hindu leader Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati. Maoists have claimed responsibility for the murder but fanatics blamed Christians and orchestrated the violence.

Of the 12 cases, Pradhan has been convicted in two murder cases and acquitted in seven others relating to arson and rioting. Three more cases are pending against him.

Pradhan, considered a close disciple of Saraswati, said he would move a higher court against the sentence.

Source: The Hindu/PTI


 
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