Rediff India Abroad
 Rediff India Abroad Home  |  All the sections


The Web

India Abroad

Sign up today!

Mobile Downloads
Text 67333
Article Tools
Email this article
Top emailed links
Print this article
Contact the editors
Discuss this article

Home > News > PTI

Dara Singh, 12 others acquitted in murder case

October 30, 2006 18:03 IST

Related Articles
The Graham Staines Murder Case
Staines murder: Dara Singh's death sentence commuted to life term

Dara Singh, serving a life sentence for the murder of Australian missionary Graham Staines and his two sons, and 12 others were acquitted on Monday in a case relating to the burning of a truck and murder of its helper due to insufficient evidence.

Baripada District and Sessions Judge Sribatsa Pradhan acquitted Dara alias Rabindra Kumar Pal and 12 others charged with burning a truck and murdering its helper Shaikh Imam at Godabhanga Ghati in Mayurbhanj district.

The prosecution alleged that Dara and his accomplices had detained a buffalow-loaded truck at Godabhanga Ghati on September 15, 1998, and set it ablaze after unloading the animals.

They had also assaulted Imam who subsequently died at a hospital in Cuttack.

Public Prosecutor Prasanna Kumar Pani said the acquittal was mainly due to certain lacunae in the investigation.

The identification parade of the accused had not been conducted while several of the witnesses turned hostile while deposing before the court, he said.

Out of 13 accused in the case, nine were on bail while Dara and three others were lodged in the circle jail in Baripada.

During the pronouncement of the judgment, 12 of the accused, including Dara, were present in the court, while one Madhu Ho, who is out on bail, remained absent.

The trial in the case had commenced on November 8, 2000, in Cuttack.

Dara is facing trial in two other cases in the same court -- the killing of Catholic priest Arul Doss and the murder of Shaikh Rehman, a Muslim trader at Padiabeda.

Dara, convicted in the Staines murder case that rocked the country on January 22, 1999, had been sentenced to death by the district and sessions court, Khurda.

Staines and his two minor sons, Philip and Timothy, were burnt alive when the station wagon in which they were sleeping outside a village church at Manoharpur was set on fire.

Dara appealed to the Orissa high court against the verdict, which set aside the death sentence while confirming the life sentence awarded to him in the case.

Both Dara and the CBI had appealed against the high court verdict in the Supreme Court.

© Copyright 2006 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.
Share your comments


Copyright © 2006 India Limited. All Rights Reserved.