First conviction in Kandhamal case

First conviction in Kandhamal case

Chakra Mallick, a resident of Gochapada area of the district, has been awarded a jail term of two years besides a fine of Rs 3,000 for his role in the riots in August last year.
“This is the first conviction related to the last year’s communal riots”, R K Patnaik, the Deputy Superintendent of Police (crime), Kandhamal said.

Patnaik said the Kandhamal police had registered as many as 827 cases in connection with the riots. Charge-sheets had already been filed in more than 260 of these cases, said the police officer.

679 people held

The police had arrested a total of 679 people in connections with the Kandhamal riot cases. Many of these arrested people are still behind bars, while some have already been granted bail.

Those who are still in judicial custody included Manoj Pradhan, a sitting BJP MLA from the district.

The Kandhamal riots, which had continued for nearly two and half months following the murder of VHP leader Laxmanananda Saraswati in August last year, had claimed 43 lives besides making thousands homeless.

More than 4,600 houses and about 150 churches and prayer houses were destroyed in the riots.

Riot victims are still residing in various relief camps set up by the Orissa government though their numbers have reduced from 32,000 to 4,000.

DH News Service

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