September 15, 2012: Pastor Nirakant Pradhan (aged about 48 yrs) was a native of village Kerubadi (Daringbadi, Kandhamal). He was a pastor of Kandhmal Union of Baptists. He was badly beaten and tortured by Maoists in July 2009. The Maoists accused him to be an informer of the police.
On September 25, 2011, he was called by the local police to meet them. Thinking that it was a courtesy call, he reported to the police, not realising that he would never return home. His arrest was officially made on October 6, 2011, though he had been kept in police custody since September 25. According to his wife, he was accused of supplying provisions to the rebels. False charges were pressed against him in other cases involving Maoists. He was kept in Baliguda sub-jail and later transfered to Phulbani prison in May 2012.
On May 2, 2012 family members were informed that Pastor Nirakant Pradhan had expired in prison. As per official reports, he had complained of stomach pain and later lost consciousness. He died on the way to the hospital. Examination of the body in the presence of the magistrate revealed strangulation marks on his neck and white marks on his private parts.
According to the wife and son of the deceased, Pradhan was tortured and killed. Some jail inmates had also mentioned that the late pastor had been badly tortured at the Baliguda sub-jail.
So far no criminal proceedings have been initiated against his killers. The family, too, has not received any compensation from the government.