(Compass Direct News) – Less than a month after Orissa state legislator Manoj Pradhan was sentenced to seven years of prison for his part in anti-Christian mob violence in 2008, he was released on bail pending his appeal. Along with fellow Hindu nationalist Prafulla Mallick, Pradhan on June 29 was convicted of causing grievous hurt and rioting in connection with the murder of a Christian, Parikhita Nayak. Justice B.P. Ray heard the petition on July 7, and the same day he granted Pradhan and Mallick bail conditional on posting bail bond of 20,000 rupees (US$430) each. Pradhan and Mallick were released from jail on July 12 and await the outcome of an appeal to the Orissa High Court. Attorney Bibhu Dutta Das said that ordinary people don’t get bail so easily when convicted of such crimes. “It takes years for convictions in High Court,” Das told Compass. “We will not sit silent. We will challenge this bail order in the [New Delhi] Supreme Court very soon.” The Christian community expressed shock that someone sentenced to seven years in prison would get bail within seven days of applying for it. “I am very disappointed with the judiciary system,” said Nayak’s widow, Kanaka Rekha Nayak, who along with her two daughters has been forced into hiding because of threats against her. “I went through several life threats, but still I took my daughters for hearings whenever I was called by the court, risking my daughters’ lives – certainly not for this day.” In addition to the bail, the court has issued a stay order on the 5,000 rupee (US$107) fine imposed on Pradhan and Mallick.