A local court on Wednesday sentenced eight persons to four-year rigorous imprisonment,while acquitting six others, including a BJP legislator, in a case of setting ablaze houses during last year's communal violence in Kandhamal district of Orissa.
Fast track court judge C R Das sentenced them on the charge of involvement in torching houses belonging to members of a minority community at Motumaha village under Raikia police station area on August 27, 2008.
Fourteen persons, including MLA Manoj Pradhan, were arrested in connection with the arson. The law maker and five others were acquitted for want of evidence, government counsel Pratap Patra said. Pradhan had been given bail earlier.
With today's acquittal, the legislator have got reprieve in four of the 14 cases. He is now facing 10 other cases, including five murder charges, one attempt to murder and four cases of arson.
Pradhan, one of the prime accused in last year's riot which claimed at least 40 lives and left hundreds of houses gutted, is now attending the winter session of assembly.