Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Phulbani, Dec 18:
A local court has acquitted six persons due to lack of evidence in a case related to communal riots Odisha’s Kandhamal district.
Additional District Judge (ADJ), Phulbani Sushant Kumar Patel acquitted all the six accused arrested in connection with setting afire the house of one Ramesh Digal in Dakarphanga village under Raikia police limits in the district leading to his death on August 25, 2008.
Based on a complaint filed by Ramesh’s brother Naresh, Raikia police had arrested Purnachandra Pradhan, Sibaram Pradhan, Sunil Pradhan, Sanjeev Pradhan, Suryakanta Pradhan and Sarat Pradhan.
Notably, a communal riot has erupted in Kandhamal district after the killing of Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader Swami Lakshmanananda Saraswati and four of his associates at his Chakapada Ashram on August 23. The killing had triggered communal violence in Kandhamal in which at least 38 people were killed.
More than 25,000 Christians were forced to flee their homes after their houses were attacked by rampaging mobs, which held Christians responsible for the murders. The police, however, blamed the murders on the Maoists.