Kandhmal riot accused BJP leader takes oath

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Bhubaneswar, July 6 (ANI): BJP leader Manoj Pradhan, who is an accused in Orissa's Kandhmal riots, took oath on Monday as member of the legislative assembly.

Pradhan, who is currently out on bail, fought the elections from a jail and won from G Udayagiri constituency with a margin of nearly 24,000 votes.

Pradhan was arrested and jailed in October on charges of murder, arson, rioting and spreading communal hatred.

Orissa High Court granted Pradhan 15-day bail to allow him to take oath.

After taking oath, Pradhan said that he hoped that he would get support in the Assembly.

"I will try for a bail. I do not think I will go to jail again. (Q Will you get support in the Assembly?) Yes I will," said Pradhan.

The violence in Kandhamal was sparked by the murder of a Hindu leader in the tribal area, where Christian missionaries have been active for years.

More than 25,000 Christians in the area were forced to flee their homes after their houses were attacked by rampaging mobs.

The murdered leader had been heading a local campaign to reconvert Hindus and tribal people from Christianity. (ANI)

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