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Kandhamal riots: 7-year jail term for BJP MLA

Bhubaneshwar: Manoj Pradhan, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA from G Udaygiri constituency in Orissa, has been convicted and sentenced to seven years imprisonment by a fast track court for committing murder during riots in Kandhamal.

Pradhan has been convicted for committing murder during Kandhamal riots. Pradhan’s accomplice Praful Malik has also been also convicted in the case.

The 30-year-old BJP MLA has five more cases related to the riots pending against him.

The murder of Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader Swami Laxmananda Saraswati and four of his aides at his ashram on August 23, 2008 had sparked off riots in Kandhamal, about 200 km from Bhubaneswar.

More than 25,000 Christians were forced to flee their homes after their houses were attacked by rampaging mobs, who held Christians responsible for Saraswati’s killing although police blamed the Maoists.

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