NCM seeks causes of acquittal in Kandhamal riot

NCM seeks causes behind high acquittal in Kandhamal riotBhubaneswar: National Commission for Minorities (NCM) today sought to know the cause behind high rate of acquittal of accused persons in the communal riots of Kandhamal in 2008 even as it expressed satisfaction over the rehabilitation measures taken by Odisha government.

"Commission wanted to know the reason behind large acquittal of accused persons chargesheeted in riot cases," chief secretary B K Patnaik told reporters after having a video conferencing with the members of NCM. Though the state government claimed that it had given due care for prosecution and proceeding of criminal cases, the NCM was not fully satisfied over the high acquittal rate.

Of the 827 criminal cases registered in Kandhamal, 512 cases have been charge sheeted, the chief secretary said adding 361 people in 65 cases have been convicted so far. Remaining 321 cases are under trial, he said. The NCM members, on their part pointed out that while 361 people were convicted, 2246 people have been acquitted due to lack of proper evidence against them.

In an effort to book the culprits, the chief secretary said the government have appointed two judicial commissions under separate retired judges of High Court to examine all the details of cases. Special Prosecutors have also been engaged by the government to deal with cases, Patnaik claimed adding the Commission has expressed satisfaction over the rehabilitative measures.