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Another murder conviction in Orissa's anti-Christian violence

Catholic World News - July 02, 2010

The special court set up to try criminal charges arising from the orchestrated anti-Christian violence in the Kandhamal district of India’s eastern Orissa state has handed out yet another murder conviction.

The fast-track court on June 30 sentenced two Hindu extremists, Sushanta Sahu and Tukuna Sahu, to 6 years’ imprisonment for burning alive a disabled youth, Rasanand Pradhan.

Pradhan was the first Christian to be killed in the anti-Christian violence in Kandhamal, when he was burnt alive inside his house on August 24, 2008. The disabled young man was trapped inside his home when an armed Hindu mob surrounded the Christian village of Gadragam and torched buildings.

This verdict comes two days after Manoj Pradhan, a sitting member of the Orissa legislature representing the Hindu-nationalist BJP party, was sentenced by the same court to a 7-year term for the murder of a Christian in front of his wife and two children.

The orchestrated violence targeting Christians followed the murder of Hindu leader Swami Lakshmanananda Saraswati, who was shot dead in August 2008 at his center in Kandhamal. The slain Hindu monk had been leading a vociferous campaign against conversions to Christianity.

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