A local court on Tuesday sentenced BJP MLA Manoj Pradhan to seven years rigorous imprisonment for his role in the 2008 Kandhamal communal riots.
The judgement was pronounced by fast track court-I judge S K Das while disposing of a case relating to murder of Parikhita Digal, a Christian from Budedi village under Raikia police station limit on August 27, 2008.
Pradhan was also accused of setting on fire houses of people belonging to the minority community.
A case was registered against Pradhan under sections 147 (rioting), 148 (rioting with deadly weapon), 149 (unlawful assembly), 201 (causing disappearance of evidence of offence), 302 (murder), 341 (wrongfully restraining someone), 342 (wrongful confinement) and 436 (mischief by fire or explosive substance with intent to destroy house etc) of IPC.
"I have the highest regard for the judiciary. We will appeal against the verdict in the higher court," Pradhan, BJP MLA from G Udaygiri, said over phone.