Press Esc to close
Tuesday 21 April 2015
News updated at 12:00 PM IST
Weather
Max: 33.4°C
Min : 21.6°C
In Bengaluru
Sunny day

Life term for 8 convicts in Saraswati murder case

BHUBANESWAR, OCT 3, 2013, DHNS:

A lower court in Odisha’s communally sensitive Kandhamal district on Thursday pronounced life imprisonment for all eight convicts in the 2008 murder of Hindu religious leader Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati and four of his disciples.

The murder had taken place inside Saraswati’s ashram located in the Jalespeta area of Kandhamal. The eight include Puruli Rama Rao alias Udaya, a hardcore Maoist. 

After an over four-year long trial, seven of the accused were convicted on Monday, while Udaya’s judgment was pronounced on Tuesday. The judge had let off one of the accused due to insufficient evidence.

The August 2008 killing of Saraswati and his associates had led to unprecedented Hindu-Christian communal violence in the backward district, which had claimed more than 40 lives besides rendering thousands homeless.

Several houses had been torched and religious places destroyed. The violent outbreak had inflicted a severe blow on the country’s image at an international level.

While holding the Maoists responsible for the crime with the help of a few local hands, the crime branch (CB) of the Odisha Police had investigated the murder and chargesheeted fourteen people, including a few big Maoist names like Sabyasachi Panda, who was then in charge of the CPI (Maoist) operations in Odisha.

Panda, who is heading his own Maoist outfit now, is currently absconding.
Of the chargesheeted 14, the CB managed to arrest 10, including two top Maoists – Udaya and Azad. While Udaya was convicted along with seven others, Azad’s trial is to be conducted separately, as he is currently facing trial in several other Maoist-related cases.
The Andhra Pradesh-based Maoist is lodged in the Jharpada prison here amid tight security.

The lawyers of all the eight convicts on Thursday announced to challenge the lower court’s verdict in the Orissa High Court. The CB expressed its satisfaction over the judgment and punishment.

“We are happy that eight of the nine accused have been convicted and have received appropriate punishment. We had furnished a water-tight charge sheet,” said a senior CB official.


Go to Top

Photo Gallery
Minister U T Khader and MLA Vasanth Bangera stopping Minister B Ramanath Rai who got angry on ...

Minister U T Khader and MLA Vasanth Bangera stopping Minister B Ramanath Rai who got angry on ...

Yuvraj Singh of Delhi Daredevils plays a shot during their IPL match against Kolkata Knight Rider...

Yuvraj Singh of Delhi Daredevils plays a shot during their IPL match against Kolkata Knight Rider...

Police force at a large number being deployed for Left Front activists 'March to Lalbazar Kolkata...

Police force at a large number being deployed for Left Front activists 'March to Lalbazar Kolkata...

Kolkata Knight Riders players celebrate the wicket of J P Duminy (C) of Delhi Daredevils during ...

Kolkata Knight Riders players celebrate the wicket of J P Duminy (C) of Delhi Daredevils during ...

Traditional elephant fights, elephant races, tug of war and dances mark this festival which coincide

Traditional elephant fights, elephant races, tug of war and dances mark this festival which coincide

Villagers struggle to get drinking water from an almost dried well near Tansa dam, in Shahapur ...

Villagers struggle to get drinking water from an almost dried well near Tansa dam, in Shahapur ...

Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the foundation stone laying ceremony of Dr. Ambedkar International

Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the foundation stone laying ceremony of Dr. Ambedkar International

Narendra Modi talking with BJP veteran LK Advani during 'Garib Kalyan Yojana',...

Narendra Modi talking with BJP veteran LK Advani during 'Garib Kalyan Yojana',...

A view of the Kedarnath Shrine before it reopens on April 24 for general public...

A view of the Kedarnath Shrine before it reopens on April 24 for general public...

Snowed down surroundings of Kedarnath Shrine before it reopens on April 24 for general public...

Snowed down surroundings of Kedarnath Shrine before it reopens on April 24 for general public...

Copyright 2014, The Printers (Mysore) Private Ltd., 75, M.G Road, Post Box 5331, Bengaluru - 560001
Tel: +91 (80) 25880000 Fax No. +91 (80) 25880523