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May 5, 1999
Wadhwa panel summons Dara Singh
The Justice D P Wadhwa Commission, inquiring into the gruesome murder of Australian missionary Graham Stewart Staines and his two sons, has directed key accused Rabinda Kumar Pal alias Dara Singh to appear before it in person or through an authorised representative.
The one-man commission issued the notice to Dara Singh at his addresses in Uttar Pradesh and Keonjhar district in Orissa. A copy of the order has also been published in several state and national dailies. The commission commenced its hearing in Bhubaneswar yesterday.
After the barbaric incident, Dara Singh went underground and the police are still clueless as to his whereabouts.
Meanwhile, a resident of Banbir village in Keonjhar district today identified Dara Singh before Justice Wadhwa after seeing video clippings of his interview.
Freelance journalist Binay Bhushan Patnaik had conducted the interview which was telecast on a private television channel recently. But the Keonjhar police had not confirmed Dara Singh's identity.
Deposing before the commission, Purnachandra Mahanta, a local vendor, said he knew Dara Singh and some of his associates such as Nari Naik, Kali Master and Bida Mahanta.
Mahanta said that a few days after the Manoharpur incident, when he was on his way to take a bath in the Tel river, he saw Dara Singh sitting with Nari Naik in a hut. Singh had threatened that he and his family members would be killed if he passed on any message to the police.
The same night, Mahanta said, the Thakurmunda police chased and fired at Dara Singh, but he escaped through the dense paddy fields.
The commission directed the state government to provide security to Mahanta.
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