8 get three-year jail in Kandhamal riots case

Judge Sovan Kumar Das of the First Track Court-I, at the district headquarters of Phulbani, sentenced the eight for their role in the burning of the house of Naba Baliar Singh at Daringbadi town Sep 15, 2008.

The court also asked them to pay a fine of Rs.1,000 each, defence lawyer Ajit Patnaik told IANS over phone, adding that the court however acquitted 18 other accused for lack of evidence.

Kandhamal district, 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.
Phulbani is the district headquarters of Kandhamal.

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