Violence in Orissa

NEW DELHI: Hindu extremists torched the house of a prominent Christian politician in Orissa on Thursday, police officials said, as gangs of Hindus and Christians defied a curfew imposed after two days of attacks on Christians by Hindu hardliners. A mob of Hindus torched the house of Radhakant Nayak, a member of India’s upper house of parliament and a Christian leader in the area, Nayak told the CNN-IBN news channel. Meanwhile, a group of Christians burned down several Hindu homes in an apparent retaliation for an attack on churches in Orissa, police said. — AP

Statue theft: 8 held

DHAKA: A Bangladeshi anti-crime agency arrested eight suspects on Thursday for their alleged involvement in the theft of two rare 1,500-year-old statues that were headed to France for an exhibition, an official said. Authorities were using information given by the suspects to carry out raids on premises near the capital to recover two terra-cotta statues of Hindu god Vishnu, which were discovered stolen on Sunday from a high-security cargo area at Dhaka’s international airport. — AP

Lifer for tycoon

DHAKA: A Bangladesh court sentenced a tycoon hiding abroad to life imprisonment on Thursday for stealing one-million dollars under the emergency government’s anti-graft drive. Obaidul Karim, who fled Bangladesh after the military-backed government began the corruption crackdown early this year, was found guilty of taking the money from a bank in 2005. — AFP

Air strikes on LTTE

COLOMBO: Sri Lanka’s military carried out air strikes inside rebel-held territory on Thursday, a day after a major sea battle left a large number of combatants dead, the government said. War planes bombed a suspected Tamil Tiger rebel naval unit at around dawn inflicting heavy damages. — AFP

Husain exhibition hit

NEW DELHI: Police arrested two activists of a hard-line Hindu group on Thursday for trying to disrupt a painting exhibition of MF Husain, one of India’s most famous artists, a group official said. The activists damaged some paintings in the exhibition in New Delhi’s India International Centre. — AP