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Five get lifer in Kandhamal violence
Published on 23 Sep. 2009 11:16 PM IST
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A fast-track court Wednesday sentenced five people to life term for their role in the murder of a villager during communal violence in Orissa’s Kandhamal district last year. Additional Sessions Judge Sobhan Kumar Das of the fast-track court number 1 at district headquarters of Phulbani sentenced Sabita Pradhan, Papu Pradhan, Abinash Pradhan, Dharmaraj Pradhan and Mania Pradhan to life imprisonment and slapped a fine of Rs.5,000 each on them, special public prosecutor B.K. Pattnaik told IANS. The court found them guilty of killing Akbar Digal, a pastor of a Baptist church at Tatamaha village, on Aug 26 last year. Kandhamal district, about 200 km from here, witnessed widespread violence after the murder of Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati and four of his aides at his ashram Aug 23. More than 25,000 Christians fled their villages after their houses were attacked by rampaging mobs, who held the Christian community there 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.

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