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High-Profile Defendant Convicted in Orissa, India

Manoj Pradhan, a high-profile defendant facing fourteen charges in connection with the anti-Christian violence in India’s Orissa state has been sentenced to seven years in prison.

The term resulted from his role in the murder of Parikhita Naik on Aug. 27 2008.

The violence occurred in Aug. through Oct. 2008.

According to a news release from Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW), the victim was one of at least 70 killed during the violence. Pradhan and his co-defendant were also ordered to pay a fine of 6,000 rupees.

Other charges against Pradhan include murder and arson.

CSW said Pradhan had been controversially elected to the Orissa state legislative assembly representing the G. Udayagiri constituency for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in May 2009. He was granted bail on all charges.

Stuart Windsor, CSW’s National Director, said in a news release, “This is a very significant boost to the cause of justice in Orissa, and the authorities are to be congratulated for bringing Mr Pradhan to justice. We continue to encourage the state government of Orissa to ensure that all perpetrators and inciters of the 2008 violence are brought to justice, that victims are rehabilitated properly, and that community reconciliation is pursued.”

CSW is a human rights organization which works on behalf of those persecuted for their Christian beliefs and promotes religious liberty for everyone.

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Jeremy Reynalds, Assist News Service

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