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Top court cancels Hindu extremist’s bail
Relief as lawmaker convicted of Orissa murders has freedom revoked
- ucanews.com reporter, Bhubaneswar
- January 26, 2011
I am happy the apex court has understood the gravity of Manoj Pradhanâ€™s acts, Archbishop Raphael Cheenath of Cuttack-Bhubaneswar, told ucanews.com today.
The apex court yesterday overturned a decision by Orissa High Court to grant bail to Pradhan, who represents Kandhamal in the state legislative assembly.
Kandhamal, a tribal-dominated district, was the scene of a seven-week long campaign of violence against Christians and Church institutions in 2008.
Pradhan was accused of killing Parihita Nayak, a Christian leader in Kandhamal.
A fast track court had convicted Pradhan on two counts of murder and on three counts of rioting and arson.
The lawmaker is appealing these convictions.
Archbishop CheenathÂ said the Supreme Court decision will send â€śthe right signalâ€ť to lower courts to provide justice for the Kandhamal victims.
â€śCriminals should not be let loose to terrorize the public,â€ť the Divine Word prelate asserted.
Paul Pradhan, a lawyer and tribal activist, said the bail denial has heartened those trying to get justice for the victims.
â€śIt will have ripple effect. The perpetrators will begin to realize that they cannot get away with crimes and violence,â€ť he added.
The victimâ€™s widow, Kanakharekha, said the decision has given her reason to live and fight for her two children.
Pradhan and other Hindu extremists â€ścut my husband to piecesâ€ť despite my pleas to them to spare him, she said.
Dibakar Parichha, a lawyer who provides legal assistance to victims, said police records have revealed that Pradhan was a field commander of Hindu extremists sent to kill Christians.
â€śHe is a hardcore criminal, who thought he would escape the noose using his connection with politics. This judgment comes as a great relief to us,â€ť he told ucanews.com today.
Police fail to summon raped nun to ID lineup
Former Church-school student charged with raping nun
Raped nun identifies one more assailant