Seven Convicted in Laxmanananda Saraswati Murder Case

Phulbani (Odisha)
Seven Convicted in Laxmanananda Saraswati Murder Case

Seven persons were convicted in the murder of senior VHP leader Laxmanananda Saraswati and four others by a court in Odisha's Kandhamal district today.

Additional District Judge Rajendra Kumar Tosh found the seven guilty and reserved the order for pronouncement of the quantum of punishment for October three.

The seven convicted are Gadanath Chalanseth, Bijaya Kumar Shyamseth, Buddha Nayak, Sanatan Badamajhi, Duryadhan Sunamajhi, Bhaskar Sunamajhi and Munda Badamajhi.

Besides murder and criminal conspiracy, the seven were convicted under different provisions of IPC for offences including rioting with deadly weapons and unlawful assembly.

They were also held guilty under several provision of the Arms Act.

The court is scheduled to deliver the verdict in case of two other accused Pulari Rama Rao and Somanath Dandasena in the case tomorrow.

Out of the 13 accused in the case, a altogether nine persons were arrested while four were still at large, according to public prosecutor Anil Kumar Pradhan.

Laxmanananda and four of his disciples, including a woman, were gunned down on the night of 'Janmastami' on August 23, 2008 at his Jalaspeta Ashram in the communally sensitive district which triggered largescale communal violence leaving 37 dead.

A large number of people were injured and houses and places of worship damaged during the violence in the aftermath of the gruesome killing.

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