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16 acquitted in Kandhamal riots case

August 01, 2009 22:47 IST
Sixteen persons arrested in connection with the killing of an Orrisa State Armed Police constable and setting fire to a police station in state's Kandhamal district during communal riots last year, were acquitted by a local court in Phulbani due to lack of evidence.

The Additional Sessions Judge, fast track court, Phulbani passed the order on Friday. Aggrieved over the police action against them during the communal riots, a mob consisting of mostly tribals, had attacked the police station at Gochhapada, 30 km from Phulbani on the night of September 15, 2008, the prosecution said.

They had also gunned down Bibhudendra Biswal, an on-duty jawan of the OSAP 3rd batallion near the police station. All the accused belonged to nearby villages of Tambisuga, Gorasahi, Pipalmal, Murja and Gochhapara.

Meanwhile, the trial of the killing of Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati has also begun in the same court in Phulbani on July 30.

During the last two days two jawans of 3rd batallion - Simanchal Patra and Pandera Singh - were examined as witnesses.

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