Hindu radical arrested in Orissa after 20 years on the run for the murder of Rev. Staines
by Nirmala Carvalho

Buddhadev Nayak, a former fugitive, has ties to Dara Singh, the main accused of the murder of the Australian missionary and his two young children. Sajan K George: "The arrest confirms the affiliations with the Hindu militant organizations".

Mumbai (AsiaNews) - After more than 20 years, the Indian authorities arrested a Hindu radical accused of participating in the murder of Australian pastor Graham Stuart Staines and his two younger children, Philip and Timothy, aged 10 and six.

The three were burned alive while they were sleeping in their station wagon, on the night between January 22 and 23, 1999. Investigators believe that Buddhadev Nayak, the arrested, has close ties to Dara Singh, the main perpetrator of the murder sentenced to life in prison by the High Court of Orissa.

The arrest of Buddhadev Nayak took place on 19 September in the village of Nischitapur, in the Mayurbhanj district. The Thakurmunda police made the detention based on investigations by officers from the Central Bureau of Investigation.

Sajan K George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC), told AsiaNews: "The arrest confirms the affiliations of Dara Singh with the Bajrang Dal and other Hindu militant organizations in the horrific murder of Staines and his two innocent children. The diabolical murder had been planned and plotted ".

The murder of the Christian pastor, engaged in the care of lepers, was a prelude to the violence against Orissa Christians unleashed in 2008 by Hindu fundamentalists. In 2006, his widow Gladys returned to live in the Indian state, together with her surviving daughter Esther, to continue her husband's commitment in favor of the lepers.

The president of the Gcic points out that the place where the assassination of the Australian missionary and his two children took place "is the village of Manoharpur. Usually the Rev. Staines visited this village once a year, on the occasion of the annual Apple festival, which takes place between January 20 and 24. he drove here for 60 kilometers. The Staines were a specific target. Theirs was a murder planned by extremist forces of the Hindu nationalist movement".