Phulbani: BJP MLA Manoj Pradhan,
booked under several charges for his alleged role in last
year`s communal violence in Kandhamal, was today acquitted in
a case of arson by a local court.
Pradhan, who is in jail facing about 14 criminal
cases, was acquitted in one because of lack of proper evidence
in an incident of arson at Pisamaha village under Raikia
police station area.
A large number of houses at Pisamaha village were set
ablaze on August 27, 2008 during the riots last year with a
person named Gutia Digal lodging a complaint against Pradhan.
The additional sessions judge of Fast Track Court-1,
said that evidence against Pradhan was not sufficient to
substantiate the charge of house burning.
Pradhan was elected to the state Assembly as a BJP
candidate from G Udaygiri segment while he was in jail. He was
released for a month to take oath as MLA and attend the budget
session. He returned to jail on July 31.