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Tuesday, Oct 15, 2019

Graham Staines Murder case: Accused on the run for two decades arrested

The main accused in Graham Staines murder case, Dara Singh is serving life sentence along with his accomplice Hembram. Nayak, who was one of the other accused in the case, was arrested by the CBI after being on the run for over two decades.

india Updated: Sep 21, 2019 21:15 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Bhubaneswar
Central Bureau of Investigation arrested an accused in the Graham Staines murder case, twenty years after the crime
Central Bureau of Investigation arrested an accused in the Graham Staines murder case, twenty years after the crime(PTI Photo)

More than two decades after the gruesome killing of Australian missionary Graham Staines and his two minor sons Timothy and Philip in a village of Odisha, the CBI arrested an accused who had remained elusive since the day of murder.

A mob led by fanatic Dara Singh alias Ravindra Pal and 15 others attacked Staines and his two sons — 11-year-old Philip and 8-year-old Timothy — while they slept in their station wagon and then set the vehicle on fire in Manoharpur village of Keonjhar district on the intervening night of January 22-23, 1999.

In September 2003, a designated CBI court in Bhubaneswar sentenced Dara Singh to death and handed life-term to 12 others. Of the three others named in the chargesheet, Ramjan Mahanta and Ghanashyam Mahanta were arrested by the CBI in 2013 while Buddhadeb Nayak continued to evade arrest.

In May 2005, the Orissa High Court had set aside death sentence to Dara Singh and commuted it to life imprisonment and acquitted 11 others while retaining the life imprisonment sentence given to Dara’s accomplice Mahendra Hembram. In January 2011, the Supreme Court upheld the life imprisonment for Dara Singh and his accomplice Hembram.

CBI officials said they arrested Nayak from his home at Nischitapur village under Thakurmunda Police station of Mayurbhanj district. The CBI officials then took Nayak to Thakurmunda Community Health Centre for medical examination and subsequently brought him to the CBI Headquarters at Bhubaneswar.

First Published: Sep 21, 2019 21:15 IST

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