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Kandhamal riots: MLA acquitted

Kandhamal riots: MLA acquitted

Author: ENS
Publication: The Indian Express
Date: August 29, 2009

A fast-track court in Kandhamal on Friday acquitted a BJP MLA, prime accused in last year's riots in Kandhamal, due to lack of evidence.

Additional Sessions Judge acquitted Manoj Pradhan due to lack of evidence, said Pradhan's lawyer R K panda. "pradhan was accused of attacking and torching a house along with several others at Pisirama village under Raikia police station on August 27 last year," the lawyer said.

Pradhan, BJP MLA from G Udaygiri, had 14 cases - half of them murder -lodged against him over his alleged link with last year's riots in Kandhamal. He was arrested in October last year and fought the 2009 Assembly elections from G Udaygiri sub-jail successfully. G Udaygiri bore the, brunt of last year's communal violence as several Christians were killed and chased away from their homes by tribal Hindus, most of whom were allegedly led by Pradhan.

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