Eight get jail terms for Kandhamal violence

Friday, November 26, 2010

BHUBANESWAR - Eight people were sentenced to jail Friday by fast track courts in Orissa for their involvement in the communal violence in Kandhamal district, a lawyer said.

“Judge Sobhan Kumar Das of the fast track court 1 at district headquarters of Phulbani sentenced four people to four years of rigorous imprisonment and asked them to pay a fine of Rs.2,000 each for burning houses at Khariapada village Aug 27 in 2008,” defence lawyer Ajit Patnaik told IANS.

Similarly, Judge C.R. Das of the fast track court 2 sentenced four others to three years of rigorous imprisonment for their involvement in burning of houses, and threatening people at Iramaha village Aug 27 and Sep 26, 2008, he said.

The judge also asked them to pay a fine of Rs.2,000 each, he added.

Kandhamal, about 200 km from here, witnessed widespread violence after the murder of Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati and four of his aides in 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, who accused Christians for killing Saraswati, although police had blamed the Maoists for that.

The state government set up two fast track courts in the district for speedy trial in the cases.

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