Court grants bail to Kandhamal book author

December 17th, 2008 - 7:05 pm ICT by IANS  

Bhubaneswar, Dec 17 (IANS) A court in Orissa Wednesday granted bail to a journalist who was arrested by the police Dec 7 for writing an allegedly inflammatory book on the recent communal violence in Kandhamal district.Lenin Kumar, editor of the quarterly magazine Nishan, was arrested for his book “Dharma Nare Kandhamalare Raktara Banya” (Flood of blood in Kandhamal in the name of religion) that blames Hindu groups for the violence.

Police had termed Kumar’s book as provocative and aimed at disturbing communal harmony. Two others were also arrested for helping him print and circulate the book.

“J.P. Das the district and session judge at Bhubaneswar granted Lenin and other two bail on a surety bond of Rs.20,000 with some conditions,” one of Lenin’s lawyers Biswapriya Kanungo told IANS.

Kandhamal district, about 200 km from here, witnessed widespread communal violence after the murder of Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati and four of his aides at his ashram Aug 23.

While police blamed Maoists for the killings, some Hindu organisations held Christians responsible for the crime and launched attacks on the community.

At least 38 people were killed in the state and thousands of Christians forced to flee their homes after their houses were attacked by rampaging mobs. About 8,000 people are still living in government-run relief camps in the district.

Rights activists, journalists and writers have been demanding Kumar’s release. Last week, about 100 protesters staged a sit-in outside the official residence of the Orissa governor here.

The Orissa Human Rights Commission Tuesday sought a report within two weeks from the state government on the arrest of Lenin after his wife Rumita Kundu submitted a petition describing the arrest as illegal and an instance of blatant human rights violation.

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