10/31/2006, 00.00
Send to a friend

Christian missionary' murderer is acquitted in another murder case in Orissa

Dara Singh, sentenced to life imprisonment in the murder case of Graham Staines and his two children, was acquitted for lack of evidence in another case involving a Muslim man. He still faces two other trials but the Supreme Court has accepted to hear his appeal for a reduced sentence.

Baripada (AsiaNews/ICNS) – Judges in the eastern Indian state of Orissa have ruled that Dara Singh, convicted in the murder of Christian missionary Graham Staines, is not guilty in the murder of Shaikh Imam, a Muslim burnt after his lorry was set ablaze on September 15, 1998, for lack of evidence. Dara Singh, whose real name is Rabindra Kumal Pal, was charged of the murder with 13 other people.

According to eye witness accounts, the accused stopped Mr Imam's lorry, which was loaded with buffalos and set it ablaze after letting the animals go. Mr Imam was subsequently assaulted and died in a hospital.

Singh was convicted by a court in Orissa for leading an attack in Keonjhar district that caused to the death of Australian missionary and his seven- and nine-year-old children on January 23, 1999, all three burnt alive. The court sentenced him to death for the triple murder on September 22, 2003. It also sentenced 12 men deemed his accomplices.

However, the State's high court commuted the sentence on May 19, 2005, to life in prison and freed 11 of the other accused.

Now the State's Supreme Court has accepted to hear Singh's appeal for a reduced sentence.

The Hindu nationalist activist, meanwhile, remains in prison where he must still stand trial for the murders of Arul Doss, a Catholic priest, and Shaikh Rehman, a Muslim merchant from Padiabeda.

For some analysts, yesterday's sentence is the first step towards a reduction in sentence and eventually Singh's release.

The most extreme fringes of Hindu nationalism consider him a hero for his attempts to "cleanse India of all infidels".

Send to a friend
Printable version
See also
Orissa, life for the assassin of Fr. Arul Doss
Supreme Court upholds life sentence for killer of two missionaries
How Christian is Sonia Gandhi?
Three Indonesian Catholics executed by firing squad
Hindu radical arrested in Orissa after 20 years on the run for the murder of Rev. Staines
23/09/2019 12:18


Subscribe to Asia News updates or change your preferences

Subscribe now
“L’Asia: ecco il nostro comune compito per il terzo millennio!” - Giovanni Paolo II, da “Alzatevi, andiamo”