Phulbani: Sitting BJP MLA Manoj
Pradhan was today sentenced to rigorous imprisonment for six
years by a fast track court for a murder during the 2008
communal riots in Orissa`s Kandhamal district.
Fast track court-II judge C R Das convicted Pradhan
for the murder of Bikram Nayak, a Christian from Budedipada of
Tiangia village under Raikia police station limits on August
He was convicted under section 304 (punishment for
culpable homicide not amounting to murder) of IPC.
The judge also slapped a fine of Rs 15,500 on the
convict, representing the communally sensitive G Udayagiri
assembly constituency, for setting ablaze houses of people
belonging to the minority community and inciting communal
Though Pradhan`s name was initially not in the FIR
filed at Raikia police station, his involvement in the killing
came to light during investigation.
At least 12 cases were registered against Pradhan
for his alleged involvement in the riots in Kandhamal which
claimed at least 38 lives in the aftermath of the killing of
VHP leader Swami Laxamananda Saraswati.
Of the 12 cases, Pradhan has been convicted in two
murder cases and acquitted in seven others relating to arson
and rioting. Three more cases are pending against him.
Pradhan was a close disciple of Saraswati, whose
killing on August 23, 2008, had sparked off large-scale
violence in Kandhamal and other parts of Orissa.
Pradhan said he would move a higher court against the
This was the second case in which Pradhan, arrested
from Berhampur in December 2008, has been convicted.
Pradhan was the lone candidate win the 2009 assembly
elections while in jail.