Dara Singh (murderer)

Dara Singh alias Ravinder Kumar Pal (born October 2, 1962) was the leader of the religious militants that murdered Australian missionary and social worker, Graham Staines and his two sons, two sons Philip (aged 9) and Timothy (aged 7) on the night of January 22, 1999. The Grahams were sleeping in their station wagon at Manoharpur village in Keonjhar district (about 400 km from Bhubaneswar), India when the militants attacked and set the vehicle on fire, prevented even the children from escaping and murdered all three.

Dara Singh is a hero and a sample of what we will do to christain missionaries. You do not belong in India and we will drive you out to the sea.

Dara Singh was earlier involved in the cow protection movement of the Bajrang Dal and had earlier targeted Muslim cattle traders. The Wadhwa commission stated that the Bajrang Dal was not involved in the murder of Staines, justifying its non-examination of the role of the Bajrang Dal on the grounds that the Dal was a peaceful and legal organization. [ [http://www.hinduonnet.com/fline/fl2021/stories/20031024003902400.htm The Staines case verdict] V. Venkatesan, Frontline Magazine, Oct 11-23, 2003. ] .

Dara Singh has also been charged in the killing of Muslim trader Shaikh Rehman at Padibeda village in Karanjia sub-division of Mayurbhanj district. [ [http://www.tribuneindia.com/1999/99sep27/nation.htm#4 Dara's aide casts vote] Tribune, 1999 September] and in the murder of Christian priest Arul Doss in Jamboni village in the same district [http://www.india-today.com/itoday/19990920/cover.html In the Land of Dara] Ruben Banerjee, India Today, September 20 1999.] . Arul Doss was killed by an arrow as he was escaping after his church was set on fire.

Graham Staines Murder

Other perpetrators in the killing of Graham Staines included Rajat Das, Mahendra Hembram and Chenchu Hansda (a minor). The CBI had chargesheeted total 18 persons in the case in June 1999, saying there was a "prima facie" case against the accused for commission of the offence under various sections of the Indian Penal Code. However only Hembram and Singh were found guilty. Singh was sentenced to death.

In May 2005, the Orissa High Court set aside the death sentence awarded by a special Central Bureau of Investigation court to Dara Singh in the murder, stating that it could not be demonstrated that any specific action by Singh "himself" had caused the deaths. [ [http://www.rediff.com/news/2005/may/19staines.htm Staines murder: Dara Singh's death sentence commuted to life term] rediff.com May 19, 2005] .

Life

Dara Singh alias Rabindra Pal Singh is the son of Mihilal Pal of Kokara village, district Itawah in Uttar Pradesh. He appears to have a B.A. degree and was in Delhi before coming to Baliposhi in this backward tribal region of Orissa in 1989. For some time he got a job teaching Hindi at a school.

It has been alleged that Over time he became associated with Bajrang Dal and launched a campaign against cow slaughter and religious conversions. He was charged in several cases where trucks carrying cows to slaughter had been hijacked and looted. By redistributing these cows among the locals, he had achieved a degree of popularity among the tribals, and was also becoming a political figure. He had a small loyal band that was increasingly involved in violent opposition to what they perceived as anti-Hindu forces.

Subsequent to his arrest, his supporters have formed several organisations, including Dara Singh Parijan Suraksha Samiti, (Council for Aiding the Family of Dara Singh), Dharmarakhyak Sri Dara Singh Bachao Samiti (Committee to defend Dara Singh, the Protector of our Religion), Dharmarakshak Dara Singh Sahayta Samiti, Dara Sena (Dara's Army), claiming to espouse his cause. These groups describe him as the saviour of Hinduism. There is also a "Free Dara Singh" website [ [http://www.geocities.com/free_dara_singh/index.htm Free Dara Singh] website] . Several small booklets with titles like "Mono Ku Chhui Gola" (He Has Touched Our Hearts), or "Mu Dara Singh Kahuchi" (This is Dara Singh Speaking), eulogizing Dara and criticizing the activities of Staines and other Christian missionaries, are circulating in the region.

References


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