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18 acquitted in Kandhamal riot

india Updated: Jan 29, 2011 19:10 IST

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A fast track court in Orissa acquitted 18 people in two cases of rioting in the Kandhamal district in 2008, a lawyer said on Saturday.

While 10 people were booked for burning the house of Sramika Digal, eight people were booked for torching John Nayak's house. Both the incidents took place at Pipudidei village Aug 26.

Judge Sobhan Kumar Das delivered the verdict on Friday in both the cases at the district headquarters of Phulbani, some 200 km from Bhubaneswar, defence lawyer Ajit Patnaik told IANS.

"He acquitted all the accused persons as the charges levelled against them could not be established," he said.

The tribal populated Kandhamal district witnessed widespread communal violence after the murder of Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati and his four aides at his ashram Aug 23, 2008 allegedly by Maoists.