The CBI on Friday arrested two more persons in the case of the killing of Australian missionary Graham Staines and his two minor sons in Odisha’s Keonjhar district in January 1999.
Ghanshyam Mahanta and Ranjan Mahanta were arrested from their village in Keonjhar by CBI sleuths and brought to Bhubaneswar, where they were produced before a designated CBI court, which remanded them in CBI custody for three days.
Staines and his two sons, Philip and Timothy, were burnt alive on the night of January 22, 1999 by a mob while they were asleep in their station wagon at Manoharpur village.
As many as 18 persons, including the main accused Dara Singh, were arrested while three were still absconding. With the arrest of the two on Friday, one more person is still at large.
A Bhubaneswar court awarded the death sentence to Dara Singh and life imprisonment to 12 others in 2003.
The Orissa High Court subsequently commuted Dara Singh’s death sentence to life imprisonment in 2005. It retained life imprisonment for Mahendra Hembram and acquitted 11 others.
The Supreme Court upheld the Orissa High Court order in 2011.