Berhampur: A local court in Khallikote today awarded life imprisonment to five persons in connection with the murder of journalist Tarun Acharya. Acharya who was a stringer in an Odia news channel was killed in May 2014 for his coverage on child labour.
The court of Khallikote Additional District Judge today convicted Santosh Maharana, Sibaram Nayak, Shyam Sundar Prusty, Suresh Chandra Sahu and Ramesh Reddy.
The court pronounced the judgment after examining the evidence and statements of 45 witnesses. As per charge sheet of the police, as many as six accused were involved in the crime. Police said that one of the accused identified as Nrusingha Panda is still at large. The Crime Branch was handed over the case in 2015 on the order of Orissa High Court.
Acharya had published a news report in a leading Odia daily about the engagement of child labourers at Shyam Sundar Prusty’s cashew-nut processing factory in Khallikote. Later Prusty had paid three of his associates to eliminate Acharya.
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