On Christmas eve, three convicted, 26 let off for Kandhamal

On Christmas eve, three convicted, 26 let off for Kandhamal


"In one case, two people were convicted by Fast Track Court-I and handed five years rigorous imprisonment and a fine of Rs.2,000 for torching the house of Subhash Digal and Kuli Digal Aug 26, 2008, of Pradhanpat village," said B.K. Pattnaik, the public prosecutor, about Thursday's verdict.

"In another case, one person was convicted by the court and given a four year jail term and a fine of Rs.2,000 in connection with an arson case in Penela village on Aug 27, 2008. Ten others were let off in the case for want of evidence," said P.K. Patra, the public prosecutor.
In a third case, 16 more people were let off.

During the riots, Phillip Behera of Sandakumpa village under Raikia police station area had filed cases against 16 people for torching his house. They were let off by Fast Track Court-II judge Chittaranjan Das for want of evidence.
Kandhamal district, about 200 km from here, witnessed widespread violence after the murder of Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati 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 they were attacked by mobs, although police blamed Maoists for the VHP leader's killing.

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