A fast track court in Orissa on Wednesday sentenced five people to two years' imprisonment in a Kandhamal riot case.
Janala Pradhan, Krushna Pradhan, Nata Pradhan, Ashok Mallick and Udayanath Pradhan from Raikhala-Gadiapada village were accused of torching and destroying the house of Birendra Naik of the same village during the 2008 Kandhamal riots. They were booked under several charges.
The charge of torching the house could not be proved but they were convicted for mischief causing damage, unlawful assembly and rioting, PK Patra, the public prosecutor told IANS.
They were also fined Rs 2, 500 each by Judge Chittaranjan Mohanty of the Kandhamal district fast track court.
"If they fail to pay the fine, they will have to undergo an additional two and half months of jail term," Patra said.
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 August 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 the police blamed the Maoists.