One held guilty in Kandhamal riot case

Bhubaneswar, November 30: A fast track court in Orissa Monday convicted a person to five years in prison in a Kandhamal riot case.

“Sanjeev Pradhan has been held guilty by the court for setting on fire the house of Shravan Kumar Digal of Penagari village in Kandhamal district Aug 25, 2008. He has been given five years in jail,” said P.K. Patra, the public prosecutor.

Pradhan has also been fined Rs.7,500. Fast track court judge C.R. Das pronounced the judgment.

Kandhamal, about 200 km from here, witnessed widespread violence after the murder of Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati and four of his aides at his ashram Aug 23 last year.

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

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