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March 29, 2000
The Rediff Interview/ Dara Singh
'I feel no sorrow for the deaths of the children'
M I Khan in Bhubaneswar
Dara Singh, the main accused in the killings of Australian missionary Graham Staines and his two sons, was clad in a white kurta pyjama and slippers. There were a large number of people outside the CBI-designated court and crowded about the windows to catch a glimpse of this wanted man.
Though surrounded by policemen when he was presented before the court in Bhubaneswar on Wednesday afternoon, he looked unruffled. He was later remanded to CBI custody till April 10, his bail petition being rejected by additional chief judicial magistrate Sukumar Sahu.
Though surrounded by policemen when he was presented before the court in Bhubaneswar on Wednesday afternoon, he looked unruffled. He was later remanded to CBI custody till April 10, his bail petition being rejected by additional chief judicial magistrate Sukumar Sahu.rediff.com correspondent M I Khan approached Dara Singh and introduced himself as a journalist. Dara Singh appeared very happy and, without any hesitation, agreed to an interview. Excerpts:
Do your parents have come to meet you in Karanjia yesterday. Have you met them or not.?
I've heard they are eager to come to Karanjia to meet me but unfortunately they were not allowed to do so.
Why were they not allowed to meet you?
It wasn't only my parents, the government and the police have been very tough about allowing anyone to meet me other than my advocate. The police are not allowing the journalists to meet me .I don't know why there is so many restriction on meeting me.
"Mujhe kisi se bhi sampark nahin karne diya jata hain" (I am not allowed to speak to anyone). This is a violation of my basic constitutional rights.
Did you surrender or did the police arrested you?
I simply surrendered before the police. The police story about trapping me inside the jungle was a dramabajee. It was not true. I surrendered not because I was afraid of the police but because I was a little concerned about the way the police were treating the innocent peoples in the Mayurbhanj and Keonjhar to get to me.
How do you feel inside the prison?
Everything is all right there.
How do you spent your time?
I spend my time reading the Ramayan, the Gita and the Hanuman Chalisa. Besides I also pray, like any other human being. I am also reading inside the prison. I am a regular reader of two Oriya dailies, Prajatantra and Sambad.
Were you were tortured in jail?
Yes, of course the police had tortured me. "Kuch peetai kiya tha suru main" (They had beaten me earlier). It wasn't very tough.
What about your alleged involvement in the Staines murder case?
I wasn't involved in the Staines murder case. The time it happened, I was in Satpara in Keonjhar district, which is far away from where the incident occurred.
But the police claimed that even you said you were present on the spot...
I never told them that. I was not involved either in the Staines murder or the other alleged incidents like the killings of Muslim trader Sheikh Rehman and Roman Catholic priest Arul Doss. In fact, it is an open secret that I was not present anywhere near the spot.
If this is the case then why is it your name came into the picture from day one?
All the allegations are baseless, false, fabricated and motivated. This is a conspiracy against me, hatched by the my enemies in Mayurbhanj and Keonjhar areas.
Do you regret for what happened with Staines?
Why should I? I have no regret for what happened with Staines and his children.
"Main dukhi nahin hun; mere dukhi hone ka koi karan bhi to nahin hain [I'm not sad that the children died; there isn't any reason for me to be sad]."
The way that Staines's two children were burnt to death has been condemned by one and all. How do you react to it?
My stand is clear: I have no regret for what happened in Manoharpur. "Bachon ke marne par koi dukh nahin hai [I feel no sorrow for the deaths of the children]."
Are you interested in politics? Would you like to join it later?
No, no, there is no question of my joining politics.
Are you a fanatic Hindu, as claimed by many?
Look, I am not a fanatic or a fundamentalist Hindu.
"Hindu chinta dhara main vishvas karta hun I believe in the Hindu stream of thought]."
It is said that you were involved with movement against cow slaughter and for cow protection. Besides, you have been allegedly involved in attacking Muslims traders supplying cow meat. Is that not true?
No, not at all. I wasn't involved with any such movement but I do feel that the cow protection movement was right.
What about your alleged relationship with the Sangh Parivar, particularly with the Bajrang Dal.?
No, I have no links with any organisation or party. I have never attended any RSS shakha meeting or camp in my life.
Did you agree with Staines's activities in the Mayurbhanj and Keonjhar areas before his murder?
All the fathers and Christian missionaries were involved in conversions. I am totally opposed to it.
Do you expect justice under this circumstances?
Of course, I have deep faith in the Indian judicial system.
Do you know that two more organisations have been formed for your protection?
Yes, I know it. They were set up with my consent.
What you will do after being out of the jail?
I don't know. How can I know what is there in future?
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