Bharatiya Janata Party candidate for the Kandhamal Lok Sabha segment, Ashok Sahu, was finally granted bail after three days in judicial custody for allegedly making inflammatory speeches in the area that has been the venue of some the worst anti-church violence in the country.
Sahu was granted bail on Friday by the district court of Phulbani, after district and Sessions Judge JJ Patra ordered him free in lieu of a 10.000 rupee bond and a surety.
Sahu is expected to be released on Saturday from G Udaygiri sub-jail, where he has been lodged since Tuesday, on production of the court papers on Saturday
Sahu was sent to judicial custody for two weeks since his arrest hours before campaigning for the first phase of polls came to an end.
He faces charges of making inflammatory speeches at an election meeting in Raikia on April 5.
He twice hoodwinked the police since a case was registered against him under sections 125 of Representation of People Act and 153 (A) of IPC along with additional sections 505 and 295 of IPC in accordance with Election Commission directives at Raikia police station on April 10.
The charges were brought against him after the district administration verified the tapes showing him making the alleged statements.
Sahu, a former IPS officer, had allegedly accused the Church and Christian community of complexity in the killing of Swami Lakshmanananda Saraswati and inspiring conversions.