Two more arrested in Graham Staines murder case
Keonjhar: Two more accused were arrested by the CBI today in connection with the infamous Australian Christian missionary Graham Staines murder case at Anandpur area in the district. After 14 years of the crime, Ghanashyam Mahanta and Ramjan Mahanta, two associates of prime accused of the case Dara Singh, were caught from their own villages Goyalmunda and Bhalughera respectively. Both of them will be produced before the CBI court today, sources said.
The brutal crime was committed by Rabindra Pal Singh alias Dara who was awarded life imprisonment for burning to death Staines and his two sons Timothy (10) and Philip (6) at Manoharpur village in Keonjhar district on the late night of January 22, 1999.
Dara was awarded death penalty by a lower court, but Orissa High Court had commuted the death sentence to life term in May 2005. Dara had also challenged the HC verdict in Supreme Court which too had upheld the High Court’s judgment in January, 2011.
Graham Stuart Staines, an Australian missionary who ran a leprosy home at Baripada in Mayurbhanj district, and his two minor sons Philip (11) and Timothy (8) were asleep in their Station Wagon at Manoharpur village in Keonjhar district on the night of January 22, 1999 when a crowd surrounded them and set the vehicle ablaze killing all three. Staines had been to the Manoharpur village with his sons and some others on January 20, 1999 to participate in a 'jungle camp' — an annual gathering of Christians for fellowship, prayer and teaching — when the incident occurred.