BJP claims Kandhamal riot convict MLA ‘innocent’

Bhubaneswar, Jun 30 (PTI) The Orissa BJP today claimed that Kandhamal riots convict BJP MLA Manoj Kumar Pradhan was innocent and demanded arrest of those behind the killing of VHP leader Laxmanananda Saraswati.

Alleging that hundreds of innocent people, including Pradhan, were harassed by police, BJP state president Jual Oram said “what happened in Kandhamal was the reaction over the merciless killing of Saraswati.”

He said police should nab those involved in the killing of Saraswati instead of harassing “innocent people”.

Oram said Pradhan would move the Orissa High Court challenging the verdict of the fast track court.

Pradhan and another, Prafulla Mallick, were convicted yesterday for killing Parikhita Digal during the 2008 Kandhamal riots.