Christians on Friday said they accepted the life term handed to Dara Singh for killing Australian missionary Graham Staines and his two sons in 1999, in Orissa, while the Cuttack-Bhubaneswar archbishop said the community had already forgiven him.
"As far the Christian community is concerned, we have already forgiven him (Dara Singh)," Cuttack-Bhubaneswar Archbishop Raphael Cheenath said. "What the Supreme Court has given...the life imprisonment...we accept it," the archbishop told IANS.
Said Sajan K George, president of Bangalore based Global Council of Indian Christians, "We really appreciate the Supreme Court judgment." "We appeal to the court that he should be kept for the full length of his life in prison to prevent such occurrences of brutal murders," George told IANS over telephone.
Hindu leaders in Orissa also welcomed the apex court judgement. "People have faith in judiciary. We welcome the apex court's judgment," said Subhash Chouhan, national convener of the Bajrang Dal.
The Supreme Court on Friday upheld the life imprisonment awarded to Dara Singh alias Ravinder Kumar Pal. Singh was convicted for burning to death, Australian Christian missionary Graham Staines and his two sons in January 1999 at Manoharpur village in Keonjhar district, some 400 km from Bhubaneswar.
Staines and his two sons, Philip (10) and Timothy (6), were burnt alive by a mob on Jan 22, 1999 while they were sleeping in their station wagon.