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11 convicted in Kandhamal riot
Published on 31 Jan. 2010 12:12 AM IST
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A court in Orissa Saturday convicted 11 people and let off 17 others in a 2008 case of rioting in Kandhamal district. “Eleven people have been convicted and 17 others have been let off for want of evidence against them,” P.K. Patra, the public prosecutor, told IANS. Fast track court-I judge Subhendu Das sentenced the 11 convicted to five years imprisonment and fined them Rs.2,000 each for torching the house of Gugula Das in Sorangada village Sep 18, 2008. If the convicts fail to pay the fine they will have to spend an additional three months in jail, the court ordered. 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, 2008. More than 25,000 Christians were forced to flee their homes after their houses were attacked by rampaging mobs that 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.

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