इंडियन आवाज़     01 Dec 2023 12:41:01      انڈین آواز

HC grants bail to mastermind of Kandhamal violence

By Ajay Kumar Singh
BHUBANESWAR: The Orissa High Court has granted bail to the alleged mastermind of anti-Christian violence in Kandhamal district of the eastern Indian state.

Manoj Pradhan, a member of the state legislative assembly, was in jail since Sept. 20 after a  court convicted him for culpable homicide.

On Nov. 22, the High Court asked Pradhan, a leader of the pro-Hindu Bharatiya Janata Party (Indian people’s party), to deposit 15,000 rupees and asked the lower court to release him on bail after he completed the formalities.

The bail has surprised Manas Ranjan Singh, senior lawyer for the Human Rights Law Network working among the survivors.

“The bail would have adverse impact on the survivors, who are even frightened to give witness,” Singh told ucanews.com on Nov. 23. According to him, Pradhan is “the kingpin, who has been accused of 11 murders with two convictions in the lower court.”

Dibakar Parichha, another lawyer working among the survivors, said they would appeal in the Supreme Court to get Pradhan’s bail canceled.

“The verdict reflects the state of affairs and how weak prosecution we have had,” he told ucanews.com. According to him, prosecution lacks knowledge and experience to handle the complex cases. “We are sad the prosecution has failed to get justice.”

Father Nicholas Barla, a tribal human right activist, regretted the poor seldom get justice. “As the mighty get away with crime, the poor lose faith in criminal justice delivery mechanisms,” he added.

Sister Justine Senapati of the Sister of St. Joseph of Annecy says the state has failed to protect Christian minorities. “Where should they go to get justice?” she asked.

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