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Convicted CPI MLA pleads innocence, moves Sessions court

Written by: Staff

Berhampur, Orissa, Mar 1 (UNI) Chatrapur CPI MLA N Narayan Reddy, convicted by a local court and sentenced to seven years rigorous imprisonment yesterday in an assault case committed 14 years ago, pleaded innocence.

'' I know nothing about the attack on Chamakhandi High School Head Master Ramakanta Panigrahi on March 21, 1992, '' he told a group of visiting newsmen in the Berhampur Circle jail, where he had been lodged after his bail application was rejected by the court.

Mr Reddy said he reached the spot ten minutes after the incident and helped the headmaster shift him to the Chatrapur District Headquarters Hospital for treatment.

The CPI MLA hoped once the truth would come out and said he was prepared for any high level inquiry. '' My name has been dragged into the FIR as instigated by some Congress leaders with whom I had political differences at that time. '' He further said the attack on Ramakanta Panigrahi was the sequel of a controversy over the inter-caste marriage of one Satya Patnaik, a local youth with a girl of "Belama" caste belonging to Totapalli village.

On being asked as to whether he would resign from the post owning moral responsibility after being convicted by the local court Mr Reddy said he would quit if his party high command desired so.

Meanwhile, the disposal of the bail application of the CPI MLA filed before the Court of the District Sessions Judge Berhampur Chitta Ranjan Dash has been differed till Friday, according to his advocate Anup Panda.

Chatrapur Assistant Sessions Judge Pramod Chandra Mishra yesterday convicted N Narayan Reddy, Niranjan Raulo, Chamakhandi Sarpanch N Simanchal Reddy and Ch Satya Narayan Reddy for two years under section 147, three years under section 148 and seven years under section 307 and 149 of Indian Penal Code.

While Narayan Reddy and Niranjan Raulo were present in the court and later taken to the Berhampur Circle Jail, police had issued non-bailable arrest warrant against two others who are absconding. The Judge, however, acquitted 23 others in the case due to lack of evidence.

UNI XC DP SJC/src2026

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