24 November, 2020

A Fanatic Caught Out

The prime accused in the Staines killings is nabbed, but a conviction is some way off

A Fanatic Caught Out

Mein hi Dara hoon, aapke paas hoon, maarna ho to maar deejiye (I am Dara, now I am at your disposal, kill me if you want to)," he said, when Mayurbhanj SP Yogesh Bahadur Khurana asked him whether he was actually the man the police had been hunting for over a year-whose elusive nature had, in local lore, taken on a half-mythic character. Finally, he fell to a bait he could little resist: a gun. Dara Singh never had any firearms. His only weapons were two spears and a packet of chilly powder to throw in the eyes of whoever came to arrest him. Of course, he always carried a copy of Hanuman chalisa. It may have helped him convince the villagers that all his acts were god-inspired. At the same time, say the police, Dara has not said anything of his alleged Sangh parivar affiliations.

Rabindra Kumar Pal alias Dara Singh, who allegedly torched alive Australian missionary Graham Staines and his two sons near the forests of Manoharpur village in interior Orissa last year, had been nurturing the ambition of becoming another Veerappan, the notorious ivory and sandalwood...



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