CBI arrested two accused in connection with the murder of Australian missionary Graham Staines in Keonjhar district. Ghanashyam Mahanta and Ramjan Mahanta are the two associates of the main accused Dara Singh. They were caught from their own villages Goyalmunda and Bhalughera respectively in Anandpur area after 14 years of the brutal crime.
Both the accused were on run since 1999. The prime accused in the case Dara Singh has been awarded life imprisonment for the heinous crime. The Australian missionary Staines and his two sons – Timothy (10) and Philip (6) – were burnt to death at Manoharpur village on January 22, 1999, when they were asleep. Taking the advantage of their sleep, Dara and his associates set their vehicle ablaze killing the Father and his two innocent kids.
Dara was initially awarded death penalty by a lower court, but his death sentence was commuted to life term by Orissa High Court in May 2005. He had also challenged the verdict in the Supreme Court, which too upheld the high court’s order in January 2011.