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Kandhamal riots: 15 get 3-year jail term
Published on 30 Sep. 2010 11:54 PM IST
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A fast track court in Orissa Thursday sentenced 15 people to three years of rigorous imprisonment for burning several houses during the Kandhamal riots in 2008, a lawyer said.
Judge C.R. Das of a fast track court at the district headquarters of Phulbani, sentenced the men for their role in the burning of the house of Banamali Digal and houses of ten others at Soutikia village Sep 26, 2008.
“The court also asked them to pay a fine of Rs.4,500. If they do not pay, they will have to undergo seven months of additional imprisonment,” defence lawyer Ajit Patnaik told IANS over phone.
Pronouncing its judgment in two separate riot cases, the same court acquitted four others due to lack of evidence. One case was related to a murder and another was related to a rape which allegedly took place at Baudinaju and Bidrabadi villages, respectively, in September 2008.
Kandhamal, about 200 km from Bhubaneswar, 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.
At least 38 people were killed and more than 25,000 Christians were forced to flee their homes after their houses were attacked by mobs that held Christians responsible for Saraswati’s killing, although the police blamed the Maoists.

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