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June 22, 1999
CBI files chargesheet in Staines case
The Central Bureau of Investigation today indicted 18 persons, including prime accused Dara Singh, in the murder of Australian missionary Graham Stewart Staines and his two minor sons at Manoharpur village in Keonjhar district of Orissa on January 22.
The chargesheet was filed before the court of designated magistrate and Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate P Basudev Rao in Bhubaneswar.
The CBI, which took up the matter for investigation on March 29, sought the court's permission to investigate the case further under section 173(8) of the Criminal Procedure Code on the ground that the investigation into the killings is yet to be completed.
Of the 18 persons figuring in the chargesheet, nine have been arrested and remanded to judicial custody while the rest, including Dara Singh, are absconding. All of them have been booked under sections 147, 148, 149, 435, 436 and 302 of the Indian Penal Code.
The CBI also prayed for the issue of a warrant of arrest against the absconders.
The CBI removed the names of 54 people, earlier arrested in connection with the ghastly murder, from the chargesheet. While 51 of them have already been released on bail by the courts, three are behind bars. The agency has requested the court to discharge them from the case.
Interestingly, except for Dara Singh, the names of five others in the First Information Report did not figure in the CBI's indictment.
Staines and his two minor sons were sleeping in their vehicle on the fateful night when the killers set it ablaze. All three died on the spot.
According to the CBI, the conspiracy to murder the missionary was chalked out in Dumridiha village, about 3km away from Manoharpur, on the night of January 22, in which 46 people participated.
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