Killer Dara wanted to teach Staines a lesson: Supreme Court | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Killer Dara wanted to teach Staines a lesson: Supreme Court

Supreme Court on Friday, while declining to impose death penalty on Dara Singh for burning to death missionary Graham Staines and his two minor sons 1999 said that Singh’s “intention was to teach a lesson to Graham Staines". Bhadra Sinha reports.

delhi Updated: Jan 22, 2011 01:06 IST
Bhadra Sinha

Supreme Court on Friday, while declining to impose death penalty on Dara Singh for burning to death missionary Graham Staines and his two minor sons 1999 said that Singh’s “intention was to teach a lesson to Graham Staines about his religious activities, namely, converting poor tribals to Christianity”.

The bench upheld Orissa High Court’s verdict sentencing Dara and accomplice Mahendra Hembram to life sentence, saying their crime wasn’t “rarest of the rare”.

The Staines were burnt alive in Keonjhar district in Orissa when a mob set fire to the car they were sleeping in and were prevented from escaping.

“It is undisputed that there is no justification for interfering in someone’s belief by way of ‘use of force,’ provocation, conversion, incitement or upon a flawed premise that one religion is better than the other. It strikes at the very root of the orderly society, which the founding fathers of our Constitution dreamt of,” the court said. Dara’s death sentence was commuted to life in 2005 by the HC.