Other States

20 years after Graham Staines murder, accused nabbed in Odisha

Gladys Staines, wife of the slain Australian missionary Graham Staines, and their daughter Esther in Kolkata in 2004.   | Photo Credit: THE HINDU

Two decades after the ghastly killing of Australian missionary Graham Stuart Staines and his two minor sons in Odisha’s Keonjhar district, the CBI has arrested one of the accused persons in the triple murder case.

CBI sleuths arrested Budhadeb Naik, 45, a close associate of Dara Singh who was convicted in the case, from his house at Nischitapur village in Mayurbhanj district, a police official said.

Naik was allegedly among those who had set fire to the station wagon in which Graham Staines and his two minor sons — Philip, 10, and Timothy, 7, — were sleeping in front of a church at Manoharpur village in Keonjhar on the night of January 22, 1999. The three were burnt to death in the incident, which rocked the country.

Naik was absconding since the incident and the CBI, acting on a tip off, raided his house and apprehended him, the SDPO said.

Dara Singh, the main accused in the case, was convicted and sentenced to death by the CBI court in 2003. The Orissa High Court commuted the death sentence to life imprisonment in 2005, which was upheld by the Supreme Court in 2011.

Mehendra Hembram, another accomplice of Dara Singh, is also serving life imprisonment in the case, while 11 other accused were acquitted by the High Court due to lack of evidence.

Staines and his wife Gladys worked in Mayurbhanj Evangelical Missionary organization at Baripada caring for leprosy patients.

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Printable version | Mar 3, 2021 4:55:20 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/20-years-after-graham-staines-murder-accused-nabbed-in-odisha/article29480156.ece

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