Dara Singh set vehicle ablaze, says accused

BHUBANESWAR APRIL 9. An accused in the Graham Staines murder case today confessed to have witnessed the burning down of the vehicle in which the Australian missionary and his two minor sons were asleep at Manoharpur in Orissa.

Daya Patra (31) told the Sessions Judge, Khurda, M.N. Patnaik, that he had seen prime accused Dara Singh setting the vehicle on fire as a mob of about 40 persons watched.

Dara first struck a match to light his `beedi' and then put bundles of straw kept on the roof of the vehicle on fire.

Then, he shoved into the vehicle some of the burning straw, Daya Patra narrated before the court which recorded his statement.