Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: World: South Asia
Front Page 
Middle East 
South Asia 
From Our Own Correspondent 
Letter From America 
UK Politics 
Talking Point 
In Depth 

The BBC's Mike Wooldridge in Calcutta
"Dara Singh had eluded capture for over a year"
 real 28k

Tuesday, 1 February, 2000, 10:44 GMT
Missionary 'killer' arrested in India

Graham Staines and his two sons were burnt alive in a jeep

Police in eastern India say they have arrested Dara Singh, the man who has been sought as the alleged ring leader in the murder of an Australian missionary and his two young sons.

Graham Staines and his sons, Philip and Timothy, were burnt alive in their jeep at a Christian gathering in the state of Orissa in January 1999, in an act strongly condemned in India and around the world.

Dara Singh has been giving us the slip for over a year
District Magistrate DK Singh
Mr Singh, who had eluded arrest for over a year, was linked to hardline Hindu groups.

However, an enquiry commission later ruled that Mr Singh had worked alone and not on behalf of any Hindu organisation.

Police dragnet

Reports say that Dara Singh was arrested during an overnight raid on a jungle hideout, in a village in Orissa.

Dara Singh Dara Singh: Substantial reward offered for his arrest
"Dara Singh has been giving us the slip for over a year," district magistrate DK Singh told the AFP news agency.

"But we got a tip off...[and] we picked him up at dawn," he said.

Police had put posters all over the state, offering an 800,000 rupees ($18,000) reward for information leading to his capture.


Mr Singh's capture has been welcomed by church leaders in India as well as Graham Staines' widow, Gladys.

I have forgiven him ... forgiveness opens up the path of healing
Gladys Staines
Mrs Staines, who has stayed in India with her daughter Esther, released a book last Sunday titled Burnt Alive: The Staines and the God They Loved.

She said she had forgiven Dara Singh in the Christian spirit.

"I have forgiven him ... forgiveness opens up the path of healing," she told an audience in Bombay.

Gladys Staines has chosen to stay in India
The Staines lived in Baripada, in Orissa, where they worked amongst the local tribal community.

The murder was widely condemned and was followed by a spate of other attacks on the minority Christian community in India.

Church leaders alleged the attacks were carried out at the behest of hardline Hindu organisations.

The Hindu hardliners accused Christian missionaries of forcibly converting poor and low-caste Hindus and tribals.

Last September, the US-based Human Rights Watch accused the Indian Government of failing to prevent violence against Christians, and of exploiting sectarian tensions for political ends.

The organisation said attacks against Christians increased "significantly" since the Hindu Nationalist BJP came to power.

Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console
South Asia Contents

Country profiles

See also:
23 Jan 99 |  South Asia
Fire mob kills missionary
06 Aug 99 |  South Asia
Hindu groups 'did not kill missionary'
30 Sep 99 |  South Asia
India under fire over Christian rights
24 Sep 99 |  South Asia
Nun 'humiliated' after abduction
06 Sep 99 |  South Asia
Strike over priest killing
26 Jan 99 |  South Asia
Indian president calls for understanding

Internet links:

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites
Links to other South Asia stories are at the foot of the page.

E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more South Asia stories