52 acquitted in Kandhamal riot cases | india | Hindustan Times
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52 acquitted in Kandhamal riot cases

india Updated: Feb 28, 2010 12:58 IST

Fifty two people have been acquitted in eight separate cases of rioting in Orissa's Kandhamal district in 2008, an official said on Sunday.

"Fifty two people were acquitted in eight separate cases late Saturday. Two cases were heard in fast track court-I and six cases were heard in fast track court-II. They were acquitted for want of evidence," said public prosecutor PK Patra.

Out of the eight, seven cases were of arson and one of torching a police outpost in Balandapada on Aug 26, 2008.

Kandhamal district, about 200 km from here, witnessed widespread violence after the murder of Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati and four of his aides at his ashram on Aug 23, 2008.

More than 25,000 Christians were forced to flee their homes after their houses were attacked by rampaging mobs that held Christians responsible for Saraswati's killing, although police blamed the Maoists.

The government has set up two fast track courts to try cases related to the communal violence.