BJP MLA gets 6-yr-jail in Orissa riot case

Holding Pradhan responsible for the murder of one Bikram Nayak, the court also slapped a fine of Rs 15,500 on the BJP legislator who was elected to the state assembly during the 2009 elections from G Udaigiri constituency in Kandhamal.

Immediately, after the court’s verdict, the police arrested Pradhan and took him to Phulbani jail.

In June this year, it may be recalled, a fast-track court in Phulbani had held the BJP MLA guilty in another riot related case and pronounced a seven-year-jail term for him. He, however, had challenged the verdict in the Orissa High Court and had managed to get a bail from the higher court.

The crime branch of the Orissa police which had probed into the communal riots had charge-sheeted Pradhan in as many as 13 riot related cases. In nine of these cases judgement had already been pronounced. The trial is still on in four cases.

The 2008 Kandhamal riots which was triggered by the murder of Hindu religious leader Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati had claimed more than 30 lives besides rendering thousands homeless.

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