Manoj Pradhan, BJP MLA from G. Udaygiri and key accused in the Kandhamal communal violence case, on Wednesday surrendered in the Fast Track Court I of Phulbani, in a murder case in which he was convicted last year. Mr. Pradhan was forced to surrender as the Supreme Court set aside bail granted to him by the Orissa High Court. Fast Track Court judge Sobhan Kumar Patnaik remanded him in judicial custody and he was sent to the Phulbani jail. After surrendering, the MLA said he would again appeal for bail.
Speaking to The Hindu, his lawyer Bhagaban Mohanty said the case in which Mr Pradhan surrendered related to the murder of Parikhita Digal at Budedipada village on August 27, 2008. Mr. Pradhan and his associate Mallik were charged with murder, rioting, trespassing with weapons, and arson on a complaint lodged by the victim's wife, Kanakrekha Digal. On June 27, 2010, the Fast Track Court I of Phulbani pronounced the MLA guilty and sentenced him to seven-year imprisonment and to pay a fine of Rs. 6,500.