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Berhampur: Twelve years after murder of Maheswar Sasmal of Phulata village in Ganjam district, 18 accused in the case were awarded life imprisonment by a local court in Berhampur on Wednesday.

Reportedly, Maheswar had been attacked by one Santosh Sahu and 17 others on May 12, 2007 accusing him of being involved in illegal activities.

Later, based on complaint of Maheswar's brother Babula Sasmal police had arrested all the accused. However, they had been released on conditional bail.

The Additional District Judge (I) Sanjay Kumar Sahu convicted the 18 today after examining the evidences and statements of 12 prosecution witnesses.

Meanwhile, defense lawyer of Santosh said they will challenge the judgement in the Orissa High Court and are confident of getting acquittal in the case.

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Anil Sahu, Additional Public Prosecutor

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Babula Sasmal, Complainant

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Sishir Padhi, Defense Lawyer