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India: court revokes bail for leader of anti-Christian violence

Catholic World News - January 26, 2011

The Supreme Court of India has cancelled the bail of one of the convicted ringleaders behind the orchestrated anti-Christian violence in the Kandhamal region of the eastern Orissa state.

The Indian court on January 25 revoked the bail that had been granted to Manoj Pradhan, a legislator in Orissa and leader of the state’s ruling Hindu-nationalist BJP party. Orissa’s top court had released Pradhan on bail pending an appeal, after a trial court convicted him in the murder of a Christian.

The bail cancellation order came on as the result of a plea by a woman whose husband was brutally murdered by Pradhan, while she and the couple’s two daughters looked on. Pradhan has been charged in eight cases of murder and seven of arson.

Pradhan has been identified as one of the Hindu militants most involving in organizing the mob violence that broke out in Kandhamal in August 2008. The anti-Christian pogroms caused over 90 deaths, drove more than 50,000 people from their homes, and destroyed 300 churches and 6,000 residences.

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