Hindu Vivek Kendra
Witnesses Before The Commission

At this stage those parts of the statements of witnesses recorded by the Commission and relevant may be referred to

A. Witnesses who speak about the preparation for the crime:

Srikant Purty (W-28)

            He is a resident of village Dumuridiha which is at a distance of 3 Kms. from Manoharpur.  On 21st January, 1999, evening when he returned to his house at about 8.30 p.m., he found 8 persons were sleeping in the Verandah of his house.  He was told that these persons had come after visiting the Manoharpur Mela.  Of the 8 persons he could identify Dipu Das, Kartik Lohar, Andha Naik and Dara Singh.  After making arrangements for food for these 8 persons, Srikant Purty went to his wheat field in the night to keep guard.  When he returned in the morning he found that the 8 persons had already left.

            On 22nd January, 1999 after taking his meal, Srikant Purty went to his wheat field along with his cousin brother Rajendra Hembram for keeping guard.  Earlier, he was told that two boys, namely, Ojan Hansda and Chenchu Hansda had come to the house and were inquiring about the persons who had stayed there the previous night.  At about 8.30 p.m. six persons came near the hut where he and Rajendra Hembram were sleeping.  They asked for water.  Srikant Purty provided them with a bucket and asked them to draw water from the well.  They also wanted some utensil for taking "flattened rice".  Some more people came thereafter and the number grew to about 30 to 35.  Some of the persons he could Identify were Ojan Hansda, Chenchu Hansda arid Mahedra Hembram, all of Manoharpur, Andha Naik of Baliposi and Kartik Lohar of Boring and Dara Singh.  The last named person was dressed in a lungi and kurta.  When Srikant Purty asked them about the purpose of their congregation there, he was told that they were going to village Puthujhuri to stage a drama.  This village is at a distance of about 18-20 Kms from Manoharpur.  He was also told that the material for staging the drama was already lying on the road.  All of them took flattened rice (Chura and Chini).  Then Dara Singh gave red ribbons to all of them to tie them on their heads.  From there they proceeded towards Manoharpur as the road to Puthujhuri passes through Manoharpur.  Some of the persons collected wooden lathis from the heap, which were kept in the field for fencing purposes. 10 to 15 persons were also carrying torches.  Dara Singh was holding a bag and an axe.  They loft at about 11 p.m. On the following day, i.e., 23rd January, 1999 at about 5,30 p.m. Srikant Purty heard that three persons had been killed of whom one was an elderly person and two were children.  He also heard that two vehicles had also been burnt.

Rajendra hembram (W-44)

            This witness corroborates the version of Srikant Purty who is his cousin.

Purnachandra Mahanta (W-29)

            He is a resident of village Gopinathpur (Banbir).  Dara Singh was staying in the house of Kali Master in the village (Banbir).  Dara Singh is a very popular figure in the village as he forcibly frees cows from the people who take them for selling.  After freeing the cows, Darn Singh distributes the cows among the villagers. 7 days after Makar Sakranti, Dara Singh asked him to accompany him to Manoharpur.  When the witness asked what was the purpose, he was told that there was some work.  He was informed that the nature of work would be told to him after he agreed to accompany them.  At that time there were 10 to 12 persons along with Dara Singh.  On the following day, he went to Chaturisahi.  Reaching there at about 11 a.m., he saw Dara Singh along with Dipu Das, a resident of a village near Patna.  Both of them were taking Handia in a shop.  At that time the police from the Thakurmunda Police Station arrived In a jeep.  Dara Singh was intoxicated and was rolling on the road while Dipu Das was trying to lift him by holding his hand.  Some other policemen offered to help, as Dipu was unable to lift Dara Singh.  The policemen lifted Darn Singh and placed him on the roadside and went away.

Satya Soren (W-36)

            He is a resident of village Remedianuagaon under Thakurmunda police Station.  On 22nd January, 1999, he had been to the house of Peen Tudu, his brother-in-law, living in the same village.  He had gone to the handia shop.  While he was there, he saw two boys from Manoharpur.  Kartik Lohar and Dara Singh had come to his village Remedianuagaon.  They were sitting under a mango tree.  Chenchu and another boy were also there.  They were holding a meeting and discussing about going to Manoharpur to assault the Christians.  Soren said he did not know who those Christians wore.  These persons loft between 3 to 4 p.m.

B. Witnesses to the Commission of the Crime

Subhankar Ghosh (W-1)

            Ghosh is known to Staines since 1969.  He is associated with the Leprosy Home.  He had accompanied Staines to Manoharpur to attend the jungle camp.  On the night of 22nd January, 1999 lie was staying in the house of Samson Marandi (W-16) along with Gilbert Venz of Australia.  The house of Samson Marandi is situated ono house away from tile Church in Manoharpur.  During the night of 22nd /23rd January, 1999 at about 12.15 a.m, Ghosh was woken from his sleep by the noise of banging of the vehicles.  There was also an uproar.  Both he and Venz were dumbfounded and could not make out what it was all about.  Suddenly, he saw flames from a side window opening towards the church.  Samson Marandi came to him and told him that the vehicles had been set on fire and that Staines and his two children were probably inside.  Ghosh further said that he heard a long whistle and after that everything appeared to calm down.  The fire was put out by around 2.30 a.m. He went and saw the charred bodies lying inside the vehicle.  He then asked the people to go and inform the police.

Nimai Hansda (W-6)

            He is the driver working with Staines.  He has been coming to Manoharpur for the last 10 to 12 years to attend the jungle camps.  He reached Manoharpur along with Staines and others in two vehicles late in the evening of 20th January. 1999.  Staines and his two sons slept inside the vehicle on the nights 20th, 21st and 22nd January, 1999.  He was sleeping in a thatched hut on the back of the church.  Shouts were heard at about 12-12.30 a.m. on the night of 22nd /23rd January, 1999 along with noise of banging of the vehicles.  Nimai Hansda immediately went towards the vehicle and saw 50-60 persons standing in front of the vehicles.  Some of them were breaking the glass and the lights of the vehicles.  A boy was trying to set fire to the right side front wheel of ORM 952 with a bundle of straw.  They were hitting the vehicle (ORM-1208) with lathis.  He was assaulted with lathis when he tried to pull out the straw bundle from under the vehicle.  He then ran towards the Church to save himself.  He was unable to recognize anybody due to darkness and also because torchlight was focussed on him.  Persons in the mob were talking in Oriya and were shouting, "shoot" and also warning others by saying "Nobody should come out".  They left the scone after burning the vehicle and shouting slogans "Bajrang Bali Ki Jai" and "Dara Singh Zindabad".  The whole occurrence happened within a span of half an hour or so.  He further stated that when he called out for the villagers, none came out.  The villagers could not come out as the persons who had attacked the vehicle were also guarding every house.  Out of fear, some of the villagers ran towards the jungle.  When the mob had left, Nimai Hansda ran towards the vehicle and found both the vehicles burnt and Staines and his two children burning inside tile vehicle (ORM-1208), He could see only the flames.  He went to Subhankar Ghosh and informed film about the burning of Staines and his two children.  The miscreants loft the scene after hearing the blow of whistle thrice.  Though lie suffered injuries, he was not medically examined by the police.  Nimai Hansda then said that except hearing the sound of bursting of tyres, lie did riot hear any other sound.  He saw the straw bundles, which were on top of the vehicle ORM 1208 being taken away by the miscreants.  He did not see any other chemical substance being used for burning the vehicle.  He also said that the vehicles were meant for the Leprosy Home at Baripada and also for the farm at Rajabasa.  They were also used for various marriage functions of the Christians.

Ralia Soren (W-7)

            He is the informant who lodged the FIR.  He is resident of village Manoharpur and a Pastor of Manoharpur Church.  His house is four houses away from the Church.  On the night of 22 January, 1999 everyone retired at about 9.30 p.m. Staines and his two children went to sleep inside the vehicle ORM 1208.  At about midnight Soren was woken up by his wife on hearing some bursting sound.  He went outside and saw 50 persons had gathered on the road armed with lathis.  They were focusing torches all around.  Soren said he stealthily stood behind a flower plant near the house of Basi Tudu opposite the Church.  From there he could identify Lalit Marandi, Rabindra Marandi and Subhash Murmu.  When he tried to proceed further one person from the mob focused torch on his eyes and another caught hold of his neck.  He could not identify anyone of them.  He was threatened that if he called anybody, he would be killed.  Then he heard the voice of Barial Marandi (@ Ishak Marandi).  On hearing the same those two persons let him off.  Soren saw one of the vehicles ORM 952 on fire.  He went to the back of his house and shouted for his Christian brothers but no one responded.  He did not see vehicle ORM 1208 being put on fire.  Thereafter he left the scene of the crime and went to the house of the Gram Rakhi (this witness has not been shown to be truthful as far as his eye witness statement is concerned).

Peter Murmu (W-10)

            He is a resident of village Dantur and worked as cook for Staines.  He also came along with the group in two vehicles on 20th January, 1999.  After Staines and two children retired for the night for 22nd January, 1999 after dinner, Peter Murmu also went to sleep at about 10.00 p.m. He and Paul Murmu slept in a temporary hut on the back of the church.  At about 12.30 a.m. he got up hearing the call of Nimai Hansda.  He heard some banging sound.  He went near the vehicle and found that some people had surrounded both the vehicles and wore banging the same with lathis. He was afraid to go near the vehicles.  Then he saw vehicle ORM 952 being put on fire.  He heard the sound of two persons running.  Out of fear, he also ran away towards the jungle on the backside of the church.  He could not say for how long he witnessed the banging of the vehicles.  Though he was not threatened by anybody, he said lie ran away because lie was scared.  He heard no slogans.  He did not hear any sound coming from Staines or his two children from the vehicle.

Paul Murmu (W-11)

            He is a resident of village Derokantia He know Staines since 1977 and had been attending jungle camps since 1978.  He attended the Jungle camp at Manoharpur five times.  He also came the Manoharpur on 20th January, 1999 along with the group in two vehicles.  There were about 200 people attending the jungle camp.  More than 100 were staying at the venue of the jungle camp.  The Camp continued till 8 p.m. everyday. He was staying in one of the straw huts behind the church along with Peter Murmu on the fateful sight, he heard Santhali music being played at a distance of 45-50 feet.  At about 12.30 a.m. Nimai Hansda woke him up saying that vehicles were being burnt.  He along with Nimai Hansda went near the vehicles.  About 50-60 people had surrounded the vehicles.  They were armed with lathis.  They were trying to open the driver's door of ORM 1208, which they could not open but the door lever was broken.  They broke the Glass panes of the vehicles by means of lathis and crowbars.  Paul Murmu heard the cries of the children.  He did not hear Staines either crying or shouting.  The miscreants then brought down straw kept on the top of the vehicle and pushed it inside the vehicle as well as under the vehicle.  Thereafter, they set the vehicle to fire.  He heard the sound of whistles thrice and slogans "Bajrang Bali Ki Jai" and Dara Singh Zindabad" 3 or 4 times.  Thereafter the mob went away by the side of the house of Basi Tudu, which is situated opposite the church.  The whole occurrence took place for about an hour.  Paul Murmu said he witnessed the whole occurrence standing adjacent to the church wall.  The moment the miscreants left, he fell down.  He did not see Staines or his two children making any attempt to come out of the vehicle.  Thereafter he went to the place where Dr. Subhankar Ghosh and Venz were staying.  According to him the incident was witnessed by Nimai Hansda, Binod Marandi and Mathai Marandi.  No one ventured to go near the vehicle because of the threat given by the miscreants.  On being asked as to why he being a Pastor and a true Christian did not make any attempt to save them, he replied was that he was suffering from diarrhoea and was not having sufficient strength to protect the victims.  Moreover, he was very scared.  According to Paul Murmu, Staines was also attending baptism and marriage ceremonies of Christian families.  If he was not able to go, he would ask Paul Murmu to attend such ceremonies.  Staines would also allow the vehicles to be used for such purposes as per the programme.

Samson Marandi (W-16)

            He is a resident of village Manoharpur and has been attending jungle camp for the last many years.  On the night of 22nd January, 1999, Subhankar Ghosh and Gilbert Venz were sleeping in his house which is one house away from the church.  At about 12.30 a.m. he got up on hearing the sounds of banging of the vehicle.  He heard shouts threatening to fire and to kill if anybody comes out.  He attempted to come out of the front door but could not open the door.  Then he heard the shouts from the mob to set fire to the houses.  Out of fear, he and his family ran out of the house through the rear door.  He could not see the vehicles but only the flames.  Subhankar Ghosh and Gilbert Venz also came out of the houses but he did not know when the mob left.  He went near the vehicle and saw the charred bodies of Staines and his two children.

Mathai Marandi (W-40)

            House of Mathai Marandi is adjacent to the church in Manoharpur.  The land for the church was donated by his father.  Staines had been coming to the village Manoharpur for the fast 18-19 years during jungle camps, which are held in the month of January every year.  There are 18 Christian families in the village.  Staines is well known in the village even among non-Christians.  Jungle camp was organized in January this year.  Staines with his two children and others came to Manoharpur on 20th January, 1999 in two vehicles.  They reached at about 9.00 p.m. The jungle camp was held both on 21st January, 1999 and 22nd January, 1999.  On the night of 22.1.1999 when he was sleeping in his house, at about 12.00 or 12.30 a.m. he heard sounds of banging.  He came outside and saw about 60 persons surrounding the vehicles.  Seeing him three persons ran towards him and threatened to kill him if he came near the vehicle.  He was terrified and went inside and tried to call Samson Marandi, but was obstructed from going there.  He tried to call other people, who were sleeping on the back of the church including Paul Murmu, Peter Murmu, Nimai Hansda and another person from Cuttack.  He could not see how the vehicles were put on fire but saw the flames.  He could recognize some of the persons in the mob from the photographs, which were shown to him by the CBI.  He recognized Ojan Hansda and Chenchu Hansda of Manoharpur village.  He also recognized Dara Singh when his photo was shown to him.  He said he heard the cry of one of the children of Staines.  All persons in the mob were having red ribbons on their heads and were shouting 'maro maro goli maro'.  He could not say if the words 'maro maro' were meant to kill or to assault.  He did not see Nimai Hansda witnessing the incident.  After setting fire to the vehicles the miscreants whistled thrice and after shouting slogans "Jai Bajrang Bali" and 'Dara Singh Zindabad' they left.  He heard loud sound of banging but could not see whether it was on account of any fire arm or bursting of the tyres of the vehicles.  His statement was recorded by the local police but he did not narrate any such thing before them.  He explained that when his statement was being recorded by the local police many persons were standing there.  He disclosed that names and identity members of the gang were mentioned for the first time in the month of April, 1999 when his statement was recorded by the CBI.  He stated about the dispute between Christians and non-Christians, which happened on 3/4 occasions.  On one occasion it related to ploughing of land during Raja festival.  The second incident related to teaching of the Bible to the children, which was objected to by the non-Christians.  He did not remember any other difference prior to the incident in question.  He also talked about disputes among Christians relating to the church at Manoharpur.  He was pointedly asked that when. 200-250 persons attended the jungle camp and some belonging to Christian community were sleeping in and around the place of incident, how was it that neither he nor any other person was present there to protect Staines and his two children.  His reply was "I cannot say".

Raghunath Dehury (W-41)

            He is a resident of Manoharpur and is a Hindu.  On hearing the banging sound on the night of 22nd January, 1999 he got up from his house and went towards the house of Ralia Soren.  There he was chased by six persons, who were banging the vehicles.  He saw some persons setting fire to the vehicles by bringing straw from a nearby heap.  The two vehicles had been parked in front of the church and were visible from the house of Ralia Soren.  He saw that some persons were banging the vehicles and others were moving here and there.  He identified some of them though he did not know them.  He identified these persons from the photographs shown to him by the CBI.  He identified the photo of Dara Singh as well, who, he said, was armed with an axe and a lathi.  At the same time 8-9 houses away from the church a dance festival was being observed by the villagers.  The mob was there for about half an hour and thereafter left after shouting slogans "Bajrang Bali Ki jai" and "Dara Singh Zindabad".  He also heard three whistles.  He had never heard these slogans earlier.

Solomon Marandi (W-42)

            Solomon Marandi is a resident of Manoharpur.  On the night of 22nd /23rd January, 1999 he heard the sound of banging.  He got up and rushed towards the vehicles. 50 or 60 persons were surrounding the vehicles and they were threatened that if anybody came out of his house he would be killed.  They were armed with lathis, axe and torches and one of them was also armed with a bow and arrows.  He witnessed the whole incident from a place opposite to the church.  He saw Ojen and Chenchu.  While Chenchu was armed with a lathi Ojen was holding a torch.  He saw one person bringing straw and another setting fire to the vehicle.  Some others were banging the vehicle.  In the other vehicle, Staines and his children were sleeping.  That vehicle was also beaten by the mob.  Solomon Marandi said he witnessed the scene for about ten minutes.  He was chased away and somebody focussed a torch on his face.  Seven or eight days after the incident when posters showing photographs of Dara Singh were put up by the police, he recognized him as one of the person present in the mob.  Some of the persons in the mob were wearing red ribbons on their heads.  He saw that the mob left the place after giving three whistles and after shouting slogans "Bajrang Bali Ki Jai" and "Dara Singh Zindabad".  He did not disclose the names of, Dara Singh, Ojen and Chenchu as being there in the mob to any one till his statement was recorded by the CBI.  The reason for not disclosing the names of Chenchu Hansda and Ojen Hansda was because he was threatened.  He says that there was a dispute between two groups in the church in Manoharpur but he did not know what the dispute was about.  He believed that the crime was committed with the help of some of the youths of Manoharpur village but he could not say as to who was responsible for the crime.  He said he told the Crime Branch that he believed that the crime was committed by Dara Singh with some of the youths of village Manoharpur.  He was asked on what basis he made that statement.  His reply was that some people were saying that Dara Singh had attended the drama festival in the village during Makar Sankranti and it was he who had come to the village to commit the crime.
Witnesses, who speak about events - Post occurrence

C. Witnesses, who speak about events - Post occurrence

Debendra Mahanta (W-34)

            He is a member of the RSS.  However, he is not an office bearer.  He knows Dara Singh.  He has no personal knowledge that Dara Singh had attended any RSS camp or was a member of RSS.  He met Dara Singh in different weekly markets in the area.  On 23rd January, 1999 Dara Singh with another person came to his orchard at Kumula Bahali village.  The time was about 10.30 or 11.00 a.m. Dara Singh asked for food and told him that "I have come back after finishing a job".  Mahanta did not ask as to what was the nature of job he had performed nor did Dara Singh tell him.  Dara Singh was wearing a lungi and a kurta.  The other person, who was introduced as Dipu, was wearing a shirt and a pant.

Purna Chandra Mahanta (W-29)

            He is also a witness to the preparation of the crime.  According to him a month after the incident he saw Dara Singh at village Telanadisahi.  He was staying in the horse of Nari Naik.  He had gone to the river for a bath.  Nari Naik told Dara Singh that the witness was a police informer.  Dara Singh called him and threatened him that if he informed the police about him he would finish off his whole family.  The witness gave this as the reason why he did not inform the police earlier about having met Dara Singh.  Mohanta said that on that very day the police of Thakurmunda police station came and chased Dara Singh and even fired at him.  Dara Singh, however, managed to escape by hiding himself in a paddy field.  The witness was shown the video clipping from Star TV programme "Aaj ki Baat" in which a person was being interviewed by Binoy Bhushan Patnaik.  The witness identified the person interviewed as Dara Singh.  Though the witness said he was earning Rs.50/- per day he said that some residents of his village had no income at all.  Their earnings were only from sale of Sal leaves.

Rajendra Swain (W-9)

            He could not be examined in detail as he was ailing.  He had filed an affidavit in these proceedings.  He is a resident of village Parbatia.  He had attended the jungle camp at Manoharpur and had accompanied Staines from Baripada.  On the night of 22.1.1999 he was sleeping in a temporary straw hut at a distance of about 10 yards from the church.  Around midnight he heard number of persons loudly shouting "maro maro" (kill kill).  Hearing this Swain ran towards the church.  He saw a group of Persons hitting the station wagons parked there with wooden sticks.  He said he tried to go close to the vehicles but was stopped as some people threatened to kill him.  He saw people running away into the jungle nearby.  He also ran to a bamboo bush nearby.  He saw the vehicles burning and after a few minutes he heard the blowing of the whistle thrice.  The crowd then disappeared towards the jungle after shouting slogans "Jai Bajrang Bali".

D.  Police Witnesses

Arun Kumar Ray (W-14)

            He joined as Superintendent of Police, Keonjhar on 27th January, 1999.  His testimony is based on record prior to his joining the post.  On his joining the post he came to know that Dara Singh was a criminal and was wanted in many cases.  After he joined, an application was filed in the court of SDJM, Keonjhar for cancellation of the bail, earlier granted to Dara Singh.  That application was filed on 16th April, 1999.  Dara Singh had been involved in various activities of Bajrang Dal and Bharatiya Janata Party.  The basis for making such statement was an FIR in case No. 79/97 of Patna Police Station wherein it was complained that Sk. Mantu, a Muslim truck driver was transporting cattle in contravention of the provisions of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act and the Motor Vehicles Act.  The complainant in that case was one Biranchi Mahanta, who said that he along with supporters of Bajrang Dal had freed the cattle.  He gave the names of his five supporters one of whom was Dara Singh.  A case under Section 11 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act and Section 192 of Motor Vehicles Act was registered.  On this very incident a cross-complaint was filed by Sk. Mantu.  A case was registered as FIR No.  80/97 in Patna Police Station.  He did not name any of the accused or any person belonging to any party or organization.  In the complaint Sk.  Mantu said that he was beaten up with iron rods, etc. by about 15-20 persons and 36 heads of cattle were released.  He was also robbed of Rs.2,600/-. On his complaint, a case under Section 147, 148, 341,323, 325, 342, 426, 506, 394, 379, 149 IPC read with Section 7, Criminal Law Amendment Act was registered.  Both these FIRs relate to an incident which happened on 19th October, 1997.  The complainant and his supporters named in FIR case No. 79/97 were made the accused in case No. 80/97.  A charge sheet was submitted in the court on 13.12.1997 against 12 persons of the Mahanta community and Dara Singh.  Four of them were arrested.  There was a demonstration before the Patna Police Station against their arrest and a representation was given.  However, Dara Singh was not a participant.  He was arrested on 11th November, 1997 in case No. 80/97 and also in another case No. 83/97.  In the latter case, the complainant was a Hindu who was taking cattle.  Dara Singh was released on bail on 27th November, 1997.  There is no office of the Bajrang Dal in the Keonjhar District though there are some persons belonging to the Bajrang Dal.

            He was unable to identify Dara Singh in the TV programme 'Aaj ki Baat'.

            After his taking over as SP, one case was registered in connection with intimidation to Christian community.  The case pertained to Anandpur police Station.  There was a dispute over drawing of water from a well in village Dhabani under Gayalamunda Grama Panchayat, which is 10 Kms. from Manoharpur.  The complaint was made at the police station by the owner of the well, a Christian, who had converted to Christianity three years earlier.  The case was under Section 323/506 IPC.  FIR was lodged against only one person.  The FIR is dated 4th April, 1999.  There is nothing to indicate that the complainant was a Christian or that there is anything to show that there was a dispute between Christians and non-Christians. (It would appear that only after it was known to the investigating Officer that the complainant was a Christian, that an ordinary dispute between two individuals was made out to be a Christian and non-Christian issue.)

Lalit Das (W-26)

            He was Superintendent of Police, Keonjhar from 9th February, 1997 till 15th December, 1998.  During his tenure he had not seen Dara Singh or his photograph.  The protest made against the arrest of persons in case No. 80/97, in itself did not indicate that Dara Singh was a supporter of the Bharatiya Janata Party.  It could only be said that he was a supporter of the GO-Suraksha Samiti.  The police was serious about arrest of Dara Singh but no attempt was made to move the court for cancellation of his bail.  The reason for not moving such an application was that the police was attempting to arrest Dara Singh.  He was neither aware of the holding of jungle camps nor had he heard of Staines.  An incident in Jogiabandha village occurred in July 1998 where a Christian father had come to the house of Duryodhan Munda, a Christian, to offer prayer.  This was objected to by the villagers.  The matter was, however, sorted out and no case was registered except that there was a mention of the incident in the station diary.  The witness was not aware of the Orissa Freedom of Religion Act, 1967.  Apart from the above incident at Jogiabandha no other incident happened in the district during his time.  In his affidavit he mentioned three cases where Dara Singh was involved, none of which was of anti-Christian nature.  In Patna PS case No. 80/97 the victim was a Muslim but this case was not described as anti-Muslim case.  Case No. 83/97 did not involve any Muslim.

Binoy Kumar Behra (W-13)

            He is the DIG of Police (Western Range) based at Rourkela.  Keonjhar District falls under his Range.  He took over as DIG from 8th July, 1998.  For two years from 1988 to 1990 he was SP Mayurbhanj where on certain occasions, he met Staines but did not remember the place where he met him.  He did not visit the leprosy Home at Baripada.

            On 23rd January, 1999 at about 5.30 a.m. he got information about the incident in question from SP Mayurbhanj.  While he was getting in touch with Mr. M.K. Dwivedi, he received a message from DGP, B.B. Panda, to go to Manoharpur.  He reached there at 4.30 p.m. A police force and officers were already there.  He did not know by that time if the FIR had been drawn up but he presumed that it must have been done.  He was not quite aware of Dara Singh.  Earlier there had been a passing reference to Dara Singh but his role was highlighted only after this incident.  The  Chief Minister came to the spot at about 5.30 p.m. and left at about 7.30 p.m. The DGP had already reached Manoharpur when he reached there and left at about 9 or 10 p.m. Thereafter, he made local inquiries.  Earlier, before the arrival of the Chief Minister, he had asked the local people living near the Church about the incident.  He instructed the SP, Mayurbhanj as well as SP in-charge, M.K. Dwivedi to form separate squads under the charge of various officers to go around and collect evidence.  He was not getting reports about the progress of investigation.  He camped it Manoharpur upto 28th January, 1999.  The initial arrests of the persons were reported to him.  He himself did not verify the correctness of those arrests.  He saw the FIR written on a plain paper at about 9.30 or 10 p.m. after the DGP had left.  There was no tension between the two communities in the village.  Ralia Soren narrated to him the sequence of events but did not give him the names of the accused persons.  During his tenure, there was some complaint about tension between Hindus and Muslims in Keonjhar and Mayurbhanj Districts which particularly related to Dara Singh.  There was no complaint of any tension between Christians and non-Christians.  He could not say if the visits of the VIPs at Manoharpur hampered the investigation as he had to devote most of his own time for maintenance of law and order.  For him maintenance of law and order during the visits of VIPs at Manoharpur was part of his duty which he did during his camp at Manoharpur.

Abdur Raquib Khan (W-17)

            He was the Circle Inspector of Karanjia in the District of Mayurbhanj.  Thakurmunda Police Station and Mahuldia Police Station were under his Circle.  On 23rd January, 1999 he also went to Manoharpur.  He was aware of Dara Singh and his activities under Karanjia Circle.  Two cases - one at Thakurmunda Police Station and the other at Mahuldia Police Station - were registered against unknown persons.  Subsequent investigation, however, revealed that Dara Singh was involved in those cases.  Neither had he seen Dara Singh nor had the other police officers in his area.  In one case, the description of Dara Singh given was "one person wearing white kurta and pajama with a white cloth on the shoulder and tilak on the forehead".  It was confirmed from Police Station Patna that this description tallied with Dara Singh.  He was, however, unable to say when this description of Dara Singh was got confirmed.  A number of raids were conducted to nab Dara Singh but without success, though help was taken from local villagers to identify Dara Singh.

Pradeep Kumar (W-24)

            He took over as Superintendent of Police, Mayurbhanj on 21st December, 1998.  As SP and in his capacity as DRO (District Registration Officer) he knew Staines as he was a foreign national registered in his office. He saw his files since 1980 though his residential permit dates back to 1973.  He met Staines for the first time on 12th or 13th January, 1999 in the office of District Magistrate, Mayurbhanj.  He was there along with his two small children.  Staines was at that time on a casual visit in connection with the Rotary Foreign Exchange Programme.  There was no adverse report against Staines in the office of DRO.  In his application for extension of stay in India Staines under the head "profession or present occupation" wrote "missionary trained in carpentry, metal work and motor mechanic; clerk trained in accountancy".  Under the head as to why he wanted to prolong his stay, he had mentioned "for Missionary work including assistance with Mayurbhanj Leprosy Home; and Rajabasa Leprosy Rehabilitation Farm, relieving Supervisors when necessary; maintenance and repair of buildings and motor vehicles; mission treasurer; preaching the gospel as time permits".

            He had no knowledge about the activities of Staines.  He did not visit the Leprosy Home or see any missionary work carried out by Staines.  Mrs. Staines had telephoned him to say that the incident had happened in Manoharpur.  At that time he did not know who was behind the incident.  There was no tension between the Hindus and Christians in Mayurbhanj District.  When he reached Manoharpur, the District Magistrates of Mayurbhanj and Keonjhar were there and so were DGP, DIG (WR), Rourkela, DSP, SHO, SP, Railways, Rourkela and DIG (Administration).  The area was not barricaded but the station wagons were being guarded. it was for the first time that he had ever heard of the jungle camp.  When he was at Manoharpur no name of any accused was floating at that time.  On the basis of a wireless message sent by the Sub-Divisional Magistrate, Anandpur and SDPO, Anandpur jointly on 23rd January, 1999 he came to know that Dara Singh was suspected in the crime.  That message he saw on 24th January, 1999.  When he referred to Dara Singh and his group he meant Dara Singh and the persons who had been charge sheeted along with him.  In the weekly confidential reports dated 14th and 15th December, 1998, it was indicated that Dara Singh was a supporter of the Bajrang Dal.  The report dated 3rd January, 1999 mentioned Dara Singh as a worker of Bajrang Dal.  Knowing from reports about Dara Singh being associated with Bajrang Dal or being a supporter of Bajrang Dal, he did not think it was necessary to talk to any person or functionary of Bajrang Dal.  There were activities of Bajrang Dal in Mayurbhanj District but it had not been established if there was any office of Bajrang Dal in the District.  Even prior to the incident or even after the incident there was no intelligence of any anti-Christian sentiments among the people in Mayurbhanj District or among the tribals residing in the District.

Santosh Kumar Upadhya (W-12)

            He was SP Mayurbhanj from 17th February, 1997 till 25th December, 1998.  He knew Dara Singh on the basis of records.  During his tenure, four cases were registered against unknown persons, one each in Thakurmunda and Mahuldia Police Stations and two in Karanjia police Station.  They were anti Muslim cases where Muslim traders were attacked.  Investigation revealed that Dara Singh was involved in all these four cases.  By "supporters of Dara Singh" he meant all those persons who were charge-sheeted along with him.  All efforts were made to arrest Dara Singh but he could not be arrested for the reasons (1) Mahanta caste people gave him protection and whenever he committed any crime, those people did not come forward to help the Police., (2) There was not sufficient Police Force; and (3) there was a lack of intelligence.  Dara Singh was not getting any political protection or patronage or political interference was not the reason for his non-arrest.  No action was taken against any Mahanta caste person for helping Dara Singh.  It was during his tenure that Dara Singh became active in Mayurbhanj, though his activities were confined to the Karanjia sub-division.  It was not known if there was any office of the Bajrang Dai in Mayurbhanj District.  In the Thakurmunda Police Station Case dated 28th June, 1998, the complainant was Sk.  Mantu who was also the complainant in Patna Police Case No.80/97. He is the driver of a truck carrying cattle.  The fact that Bajrang Dal is the frontal organisation of Bharatiya Janata Party can be found from the press reports and his personal knowledge.  He did send a report to the Home Department about incidents of snatching cattle on 21st November, 1998.  However, he did not mention in this report about any activity of the Bajrang Dal.  He only mentioned about  Dara Singh being an active member of the Bajrang Dal.  In one case, a statement was made by one Sushil Behera of a shop in the hat that several persons were wearing saffron coloured ribbons and were shouting "Jai Bajrang Dal".  This statement was in relation to the Karanjia Police Station Case No.123/98. However, there is nothing in the case diary to support it, except the recovery of some saffron ribbon bands.  The badges, however, did not carry any inscription of Bajrang Dal.  He does not know about the holding of any jungle camp.  Some Indian missionaries were working in Mayurbhanj.  Staines was the only foreigner working as a missionary in the district.  There was no report about conversions in the district of Mayurbhanj during his tenure.

B.B. Panda (W-22)

            He was the Director General of Police, Orissa from 31st October 1997 to 5th March 1999. There was no SP or Addl.S.P. of Keonjhar at the time of the incident at Manoharpur.  The DGP is normally not consulted while posting an SP to a district.  The post of SP, Keonjhar was vacant from 16th December 1998 to 26th January 1999 when Mr. Ray joined as SP.

            There was no report. regarding any anti-Christian activity in the State though there were intelligence reports about anti-Muslim activities of Dara Singh relating to the crimes committed by him in the districts of Mayurbhanj and Keonjhar. However, no card index of Dara Singh was maintained in the Special Branch, though it was something unusual. The Special Branch was under the charge of an Additional Director General of police assisted by officers of various ranks.  Panda reached Manoharpur around mid day of 23rd January 1999. He talked to the villagers there to assure them of their safety and asked them to come out with the names of the persons who had committed the crime.  The villagers did tell him a few names of the miscreants which he passed on to the investigating officer. However, he could not recollect any of the names or the name of the investigating officer to whom he had passed on the information.  He had no occasion to see the plain paper FIR of the case. A report appearing in the New Indian Express dated 25th January 1999 quoting him as saying that "over 50 people suspected to be activists of the Bajrang Dal and Vishwa Hindu Parishad were involved in the incident and so far 47 persons have been arrested" was contradicted by him.  The contradiction, however, was not published in the newspaper.  He did get occasional reports from the Crime Branch about the progress of the investigation as he was not having adequate time to look into the progress. The reason he gave was that two other cases were reported in the State relating to rape of a nun and murder of a Christian girl and boy which had raised hue and cry.  These cases were ultimately found to be false.  There was no political Protection or motive or interference in so far as the Manoharpur incident was concerned and that was also not the cause for Dara Singh being not arrested.  He gave his report dated 27th January 1999 to the State Government on the incident making the following points.

1.     Mr. Staines was attending the Jungle Mela in Manoharpur for the last more than 20 years.  Majority of the local Adivasi Christians had been converted to Christianity through his efforts.  He was staying at Baripada for more than 30 years and used to visit Adivasi areas to treat patients and preach Christianity.

2.     Dara Singh was the main culprit in the case. He had been organising Bajrang Dal activities in the areas of Anandpur Police Station of Keonjhar District, Karanjia and Thakurmunda Police Stations of Mayurbhanj District for the last more than 10 years.

3.     Dara Singh was involved in a number of cases.  A number of reports are available which would indicate that Dara Singh was an activist of the BJP and the Bajrang Dal.

4.     In the case of Patna Police Station Case No.80 of 19th October 1997 under Sections 147/148/149/379/294/506/341/342/323/427 IPC and Section 7 of Criminal Law Amendment Act, several BJP and Bajrang Dal activists were arrested along with Dara Singh.  There was sharp reaction from the BJP as well as from the local Bajrang Dal on the arrests so made.  About 500 supporters of BJP and Bajrang Dal on 27th October 1997 came in procession from village Saunrapashi and shouted slogans against Police and District Administration and demanded release of the accused persons.  This group was led by leaders of the BJP and the Bajrang Dal.

5.    During the campaign for the parliamentary election, on 19th February 1998 Dara Singh attacked and injured Bidyadhar Das, a Congress leader who alleged that Dara Singh and Chatura Mohanta of BJP attacked him.

6.     52 persons had been arrested in connection with the incident of Manoharpur and most of them were active supporters of the Bajrang Dal.  Out of these, 32 were from Keonjhar and 17 from Mayurbhanj districts and they were arrested within 24 hours of the registration of the case.  Efforts were on to nab all the culprits of this ghastly murder.

7.     Evidence was slowly but steadily emerging that the entire plan was engineered and executed by Dara Singh. The local Mahanta community supported him blindly.

(On many points, the witness is not correct. Investigation has revealed that all the arrested persons mentioned in the report of the DGP were innocent and had been wrongly arrested)

D.K. Mohapatra (W-21)

            He was the Additional Director General of Police (intelligence) when the crime at Manoharpur took place. Now, he is holding the post of Director General of Police. He speaks of the intelligence set up in the State and the functional relationship between the District Intelligence Bureau and the Special Branch of which he was the head.  There are no intelligence gathering personnel at the village level, block level or at Tehsil level in the State.  Intelligence is collected by officers in-charge of Police Stations which supplements the DIB.  DIB Officers (DIBOs) are of the rank of Sub-Inspector. They submit their reports after due verification to the Superintendent of Police of the district who in turn sends the report to the Special Branch,  to the DGP and to the Government with copies to Range DIG and Revenue Divisional Commissioners.  DIB0s are given training in collection of intelligence. They are trained by the Special Branch.  There was no DIBO at Manoharpur at the relevant time. After 23rd January 1999 he did examine the records maintained in the office of the Additional DGP (intelligence).  There were only a very few reports available on Dara Singh which indicated that he was involved in several criminal activities which were spread over four or five police stations in the District of Keonjhar and Mayurbhanj.  He had no information about the jungle camps as it was a small local affair.  He did not know about Staines or that he was running a Leprosy Home at Baripada.  There was no adverse report against him.  There was no report of any forcible conversions.  There were, however, some reports about conversions in some part of the State.  His further deposition is regarding posting of officers which will be considered separately.

S.C.Bala (W - 51)

            He was the investigating officer of the Crime Branch and conducted investigation from 29th  January 1999 till he handed it over to the CBI on 23rd September 1999. He recorded the statements of about 60 witnesses under Section 161 Cr.P.C. and two witnesses under Section 164 Cr.P.C. According to him, the motive for the crime appeared to be that "Non-Christian people were aggrieved on the ground that Christian Fathers/Missionaries are converting people to Christianity in a deceitful manner giving allurements".

Lok Nath Behra (W-52)

            He is the Superintendent of Police (CBI) in charge of the investigation. He started his investigation on 29th March 1999. Investigation so far conducted revealed that the crime was perpetrated by Dara Singh as the principal conspirator. Motive for the crime can be pinpointed only after the arrest of Dara Singh but the investigation so far conducted revealed that Dara Singh took his accomplices by stating "Let us go and assault the Christian missionaries who have come to Manoharpur as they are indulging in the conversion of innocent tribals to Christianity and are spoiling our religion and culture".  He recorded the statement of 89 witnesses under Section 161 Cr.P.C. and one under Section 164 Cr.P.C. investigation did not show that the five accused named in the FIR were party to the conspiracy to commit the crime.  Investigation further showed that all the 51 persons arrested by the local Police and two of those arrested by the Crime Branch were innocent.

E. District Magistrates

Saurab Garg (W 23)

            He is the District Magistrate of the District Keonjhar since 1st May, 1998. According to him, he had sent communications to the Govt. for appointment of a regular SP in the district After receiving a message dated 6th January, 1999 from the District Magistrate, Mayurbhanj, he asked for a detailed report about Dara Singh.  According to him, Manoharpur fails under the Anandpur Sub Division which is not under the tribal sub plan.  He also gave an overview of the health facilities in the district and stated that a tribal earns between Rs.30-35 per day. Those who are not employed and collected wood etc. from the forest earned between Rs.15-20 per day. Garg says that 80-85% of the population in the district lives below the poverty line.

R. Balakrishnan (W-20)

            He is the District Magistrate of District Mayurbhanj since 27th April, 1998. According to him, after receiving information about the incident, he proceeded to Manoharpur and on the way lie met Gilbert Venz and Shubhankar Ghosh who apprised him of the incident. During his meeting with the SP on 25th December, 1998, they discussed the activities of Dara Singh.  He further states that they were keeping a close watch over the activities of Dara Singh.  There was no anti Christian activities in the District of Mayurbhanj.  He had not received any complaint of conversion to Christianity whether by coercion or inducement.  According to him there were conversions to Christianity in the district.  He states that Staines was a popular figure in Baripada.  Staines met him on 18th January, 1999 but did not tell him that he was going to Manoharpur for the jungle camp.

F. Official Witness

Dr. N.K. Mohanty (W-32)

            He is the HOD, forensic medicine of the SCB medical college, Cuttack.  He proves the post mortem report marked as Ex 32/1, 32/2, 32/3.

B.C. Biswal (W-33)

            He is the Scientific Officer, district forensic laboratory. He proves the spot map and the photographs taken by him of the spot. He however does not know about the watch which was taken from the spot by a team of MPs lead by Mr. Gurudas Das Gupta.

Sanjiv Dutta (W-47)

            He is the Director of the FCRA and proves his report about the financial aspects of the Evangelical Missionary Society, Mayurbhanj (EMSM).

G. Miscellaneous Official Witnesses

Ajit Kumar Tripathy (W-49)

            He is the Home Secretary of the State of Orissa and speaks about the transfer policy of Police Officers in the State.

H. Non Official Witnesses on the life and work of Graham Staines Gladys June Staines (W-48)

            She is an Australian national, presently residing at Baripada. She met Staines in 1981. Two years after they got married. EMSM is registered in Australia. Its work is confined to the Mayurbhanj District and also spread to the bordering district of Keonjhar. EMSM in Australia is only a governing body to support. Churches established in Mayurbhanj are independent. After the death of Staines she has not been formally appointed to look after the work of EMSM or the Leprosy Home though she is working in that capacity there. Mayurbhanj Leprosy Home is a society registered under the Societies Registration Act. Its income is exempt from payment of income tax under Section 8OG of the Income-Tax Act. There is no specific order under this Section as far as EMSM is concerned. An application has been filed seeking exemption but no orders have been passed. The Leprosy Home is partially funded by EMSM. Activities of the EMSM and the Leprosy Home are inter-linked, The newsletter 'Tidings' was published in Australia, which carried despatches sent by Staines under the heading 'Graham and Gladys Staines'. All the properties of EMSM now vest in the Evangelical Trust Association of North India, a registered body with its head office at New Delhi. There is some dispute regarding properties of the Trust with one Chittaranjan Samal. Staines used to look after the legal aspects. Staines never indicated to her about any threat or any apprehension of threat to his life. Jungle camps never caused any resentment among the local people. Jungle camps are for Christians. During this period, speakers are called from other places to give instructions on the Bible teaching, spiritual upliftment, moral teaching and teaching on health and hygiene. In an answer to a question as to whether there was any baptism or conversion during the jungle camp, her reply was that jungle camps are meant for Christians and for their upliftment. Then her attention was drawn to the report in the 'Tidings' wherein it had been mentioned that 100 persons had attended Ramachandrapur jungle camp and some were baptized. Her answer was that she was not aware of that.  She is vaguely aware of the incident that happened at Baliposi camp, when the jungle camp broke midway. She did not know what the problem was which led to closing of the jungle camp earlier than scheduled. She had attended jungle camps along with her husband and children, last one she attended was in February, 1998 in Palasbani village. She was asked if baptism was essential before a person could be called a Christian, her reply was that a person becomes a Christian in his heart. He realises that he is a sinner and seeks forgiveness for his sins from Lord Jesus Christ and then his life is changed because his sins have been forgiven. Baptism is only a sign of the change of heart. She is further asked if she was aware that there was conversion to Christianity in the Districts of Mayurbhanj and Keonjhar, she replied that she would not like to use the word 'conversion'. She said she was aware that some people in Mayurbhanj and Keonjhar had chosen to follow the teachings of the Bible. Therefore, they are Christian.  She said she could not say if there was a group that did not like conversions or the teachings of the Bible. Again, her attention was drawn to an issue of 'Tidings' wherein it was mentioned "We have been told that a militant Hindu group plans to concentrate on Mayurbhanj and Keonjhar Districts to turn Christians back to Hinduism".  She was asked if that was a correct reporting. Her reply was that some of their Oriya friends told her that there was a report like that in an Oriya magazine which she did not herself see. She also could not say to which Hindu militant group reference was made in the newsletter.

            Staines was not a Pastor.  In churches in Mayurbhanj baptism is given by the local Pastor who has been appointed to lead the church.  Staines never undertook baptism.

            Leprosy patients basically recover by treatment and also by show of compassion and love.  She was asked if faith has also something to do with recovery of a leprosy patient.  Her reply was that the patient is recovered because of the treatment and love and affection shown by the people giving him treatment.  It has nothing to do with the religion as such. She had heard of Dr. K. A. Paul.  He tried to contact her either through letter or through someone. Personally she said she did not know Dr. Paul.

            She said even till date she is unable to say as to what was the motive behind the killings of her husband and children. She contradicted Dr. Binod Kumar Das when he said that Staines had hatred towards other religion. Staines did not hate other religions. Though there is no bar for taking food in the houses of others on religious functions but "we do not take prasad because Bible forbids taking that'.  She was also shown the burnt wrist watch which she identified as to be that of Staines.

Chaitanya Murmu (W-8)

            He is the Pastor at Manoharpur Church and says that he had seen Staines several times between 1973 and 1980.  He himself became a Christian in 1980. According to him Staines never visited his village or Church at the time of baptism.

John Mathai (W-30)

            He is a linguist. He works for the Indian Evangelical Mission (IEM) with its headquarters at Bangalore. IEM is engaged in preaching the Gospel and if anybody accepts the Gospel and wants to come to the fold of Christianity he  would came to the church leader and if the church leader considers that the personally wants to embrace Christianity, then after a few months baptism is given to him and only then that person becomes a Christian. IEM is doing preaching work in Thakurmunda area and also running a hostel for tribal girls at Rairangpur. IEM is also involved in the study of Ho language. He has translated some stories from the Bible into Ho language and now is trying to print those stories and distribute them amongst the people. IEM is also preparing for literacy work and to tell the people how to read and write in their own language and ultimately in Oriya language. There is no script in Ho language. The script is being borrowed from Oriya language with certain modifications.

            After the death of Staines, the witness is a member of Leprosy Home Committee.  The Leprosy Home is being run by EMSM. LEM and EMSM are not inter-linked but both are doing missionary work and helping each other. In 1996 for 8 months when Staines had gone to Australia on a long leave with his family he looked after the affairs of the Leprosy Home. The Leprosy Home is a society registered under the Societies Registration Act. EMSM is registered in Australia. Both the EMSM and the Leprosy Home are separate bodies. EMSM gives grant for running of the Leprosy Home.  He is not aware how much fund is given by the EMSM to the Leprosy Home.

            The Leprosy Mission of India is also helping the Leprosy Home. Leprosy Mission of India is located in Delhi and is a part of the International Leprosy Mission whose aim is to eradicate leprosy all over the world.  Government of Orissa contributes Rs.13, 000 annually to Leprosy Home.  Baripada Municipality is also giving grant of Rs. 1500/- per annum. There is no specific budget for EMSM or the Leprosy Home. Whenever any money is needed, funds are provided by the EMSM, Australia.

            During his period two churches were established - one at Nangalkata and the other at Baghdapa, both under Mahuldia Police Station of Thakurmunda area. There are 20 or 25 churches established by EMSM in Mayurbhanj and Keonjhar Districts. He, however, could not say how many of these were established after Staines came to India. But some churches were in fact established after he came to India.  Staines himself was not responsible for establishment of any church group in these areas. LEM holds only one jungle camp every year in Baliposi under Mahuldia Police Station. EMSM, however, holds many jungle camps in the areas of Mayurbhanj and Keonjhar. He attended one jungle camp organized by EMSM. Staines attended one jungle camp organized by IEM at Baliposi in February, 1998. As to what a jungle camp was about, he said: "Church leaders of EMSM would meet once in every three months at Raika under Bisoi Police-station and discuss and decide at what particular time and place jungle camp would be organised. In jungle camps, Christian teachings by speakers coming from outside (not from abroad) are given. Health education is also imparted. On rare occasions speakers from abroad also attend the jungle camp. Jungle camp is open to persons of all religion. Sometimes non-Christians also attend jungle camps. Holding of jungle camp is known to everybody in that particular area."

            In February 1998 during the jungle camp at Baliposi some youth from the neighbouring villages came and protested against holding of jungle camp. They threatened the local Christians and said they would come during the night and disturb the jungle camp. They were, however, unarmed.  One boy was wearing a T-shirt with the words 'RSS' written on it. This fact he is telling for the first time before the Commission. Local Christians informed the police about the threat. Since general elections were around police officer of Mahuldia Police Station said he would not be able to provide any protection and suggested to stop the jungle camp, which was therefore closed one day earlier.  There was no specific hostility exhibited by the villagers against the foreigners in the jungle camp. Since Christianity was spreading in Thakurmunda area that could be the reason for the hostility. A report in writing was given to the Mahuldia Police Station but he did not know what was written therein. He was, however, told that in the report it was written that when a jungle camp was going on some people from the neighbouring villages came and threatened the local Christians and stated that they would come in the night and disturb the jungle camp.

            Staines had come to attend the jungle camp in February 1998 in a jeep in which he slept.  He used to arrange speakers and take the Bible studies. Sometimes he also used to translate from English to Oriya. He did not attend the jungle camp at Manoharpur since it was in a Santhal area while his activities were confined to Ho area. At no point of time the question of threat to jungle camp came up during his discussion with Staines. In jungle camps Christians did not voice any concern about any threat to them.

            There was tension between Christians and non-Christians for the last seven years. In 1992 when he came to Mayurbhanj he attended a Sunday worship at Basantpur church, which is at a distance of about 4 kms. from Thakurmunda. His wife was with him at that time. Pradip Das with his family was also there. Local villagers came and asked them to stop praying. Pradip Das escaped on a motorcycle. He and his wife were stopped by those people and were not allowed to go.  They were detained for about 45 minutes. Ultimately Pradip Das came with one Ward Member and on intervention they were allowed to go. No police report of this incident was lodged. There were about 15-20 persons who had come there with lathis with which they threatened. Since they were speaking in Oriya language he could not say what they were talking about. Since they did not harm them they did think it necessary to inform the police and that apart lodging of a complaint would only irritate the people more. He did not hear of any threat to Staines nor did he hear the name of Dara Singh earlier to the incident in question. He was asked if he could describe the motive which had led to the killings of Staines and his two children, he replied, "What I feel is that Christianity is spreading in that area.  One reason to kill them might be to stop the spread of Christianity and those who had already become Christians would go back to their original religion. He was asked since, according to him, tension did exist between Christians and non-Christians and certain incidents did happen while holding of jungle camps, did he ever informed the police for escort for holding jungle camps or did he give any information to police for holding jungle camps. His reply was that tension was only in Thakurmunda area where they were having only one jungle camp every year.

            The increase in the population of Christians in the area of Mayurbhanj and Keonjhar is on account of conversion. This conversion is, however, among Ho and Santhal people. "Conversion to Christianity is mostly confined to poor and illiterate people in the tribal areas. But there are educated people also in the tribal areas who have embraced Christianity. I cannot say if in any town or city any educated or well up person has embraced Christianity.  There would be about 4-5 such educated persons in the tribal area who have embraced Christianity."

            A pastor mainly looks after the church and church service.  Evangelist is one, who goes to different places and preaches the Gospel.  Missionaries are also like Evangelists.

Binod Kishore Das (W-35)

            He is a highly qualified doctor having taken an M.D. degree from a university in the United States.  He has been living in Baripada all along.  He was introduced to Staines in 1978.  Earlier he used to visit Leprosy Home occasionally when Miss Elkon was in-charge.  After Staines took over the charge of Leprosy Home he used to visit Leprosy Home once every week.  Staines himself was not a qualified doctor.  There are two paramedical staff looking after the leprosy patients.  There are 80 to 90 patients in the Leprosy Home.  They are mostly tribals from Mayurbhanj District.  Leprosy is confined mostly to tribal people who live in a very unhygenic conditions and are under nourished.  Leprosy is 100% curable.  Rehabilitation of leprosy patients is the activity of Leprosy Home.

            There is a Rotary Club in Baripada of which Staines was the International Director.  The annual expenses of the Leprosy Home are around Rs.2.5 lakhs to 3.00 lakhs.  State Government also gives annual grant of Rs.13,000/-. Though he is associated with the Leprosy Home for the last number of years, he did not know its affairs as Staines wanted to keep everything secret both of the Leprosy Home and the EMSM.  Though Staines was a close friend, he never told him as to what was the jungle camp.  But he had heard about the jungle camps.  Staines kept all this a closely guarded secret.  Staines had a great hatred for other religions.  If there was a function in anybody's house, he would not eat there.  Once Staines went to Australia on a long leave.  He never entrusted him the work to look after the Leprosy Home.  Staines was living a lavish life style.  Though he would be simply dressed, he was having a modern gadgets in his house.  Even for a minor disease he would go either to Jamshedpur or Calcutta.

Nehimia Tudu (W-43)

            He is the pastor of the Raika Church and speaks about the various Churches run by the EMSM and their activities and the reasons for which people convert to Christianity.  He became a Christian as he wanted to be rid of the fear of spirits.  Champa Besra, a pastor in Mayurbhanj told him that if he believed in Lord Jesus, he would be free from the fear of spirits.  He went to the house of Christians and they prayed for him, the fear disappeared.  Staines had chosen him as a pastor.  Staines used to attend jungle camps but never baptised though at times he used to attend the baptisation programme.  The pastors of various Churches would decide the venue of the jungle camp and baptisation programme would be held.  Thereafter they would consult Staines for arranging speakers for the said programme.

Pradeep Kumar Das (W-2)

            He is a member of the Indian Evangelical Mission.  Ralia Soren and others went to his house in Thakurmunda and informed him of the earnage.  He in turn informed Mrs. Staines and the Collector and SP, Mayurbhanj.  In his letter to the Commission marked as exhibit 2/1, he speaks about tensions in Thakurmuda between Christians and Non-Christians.

Shantanu Satpathy (W-4)

            He is the long time friend of Graham Staines.  They had been pen friends since 1956.

I. Other Non Official Witnesses

Umakant Naik (W-16)

            He is the Chartered Accountant auditing the accounts of the Leprosy Home.  He produced the accounts of the leprosy home.

Pratap Chandra Sarangi (W-50)

        He is the State Co-ordinator of the Bajrang Dal for Orissa.  According to his affidavit that Dara Singh is not a member of the Bajrang Dal.  He condemns the killing and states that conversions and reconversions is not on the agenda of the Bajrang Dal.  No Counsel present and participating in the proceedings put any question to him on the question of the membership of Dara Singh with the Bajrang Dal.

Shankar Marandi (W-25)
Nishikanta Hemabrem (W-37)
Madhusudhan Marandi (W-38)

            These witnesses deny that they had threatened Ralia Soren when he was examined either by the RDC or by S.C, Bala, DSP (Crime Branch).

Thakur Das Murmu (W-3)

            He is the Sarpanch of the village Manoharpur.  He denies having any hostility with Ralia Soren.

Sushil Kumar  Aggarwal_(W-27)

            He is journalist in Karanjia.  He had met Dara Singh in 1990-91.  After that he had met him twice.  He could recognise Dara Singh.  He, however, could not recognise Dara Singh from the television programme "Aaj Ki Baat".  Dara Singh was a party worker of the BJP in the Patna area in 1990-91 during the election campaign of Mr. Naik.  He speaks about a meeting with the District Collector about Dara Singh.  According to him he had given a description of Dara Singh to the police "Dara Singh is a man of thin build, of height of 5'8", long face, long nose, with a tilak on his forehead.  He says that there was no tension between Christians and the Non-Christians in the Karanjia area.  There were conversions of Adivasis to Christianity in the two Districts of Keonjhar and Mayurbhanj mostly on health grounds.  For the last five years, he is working for newspaper 'Samvad'.  Soniya Patnaik is the MD of 'Samvad' who was a congress M.P. in 1996 general elections and earlier to that he was a member of BJP.

J. Witnesses who speak about conversion and re-conversion

Chaitanya Murmu (W-8)

            Speaks about conversions in Manoharpur.  He is the pastor at the Manoharpur Church'.  He came into contact with Graham Staines during a display of slides in the year 1973.  He maintains a register of persons following Christianity and who are members of this Church.  According to him in the year 1980, he had a serious attack of fever and obtained medicines from the government dispensary.  His fever was not cured in spite of taking medicines for 13 months. While in a dying condition, his wife called five members of the Christian community who prayed for his betterment.  Thereafter he continued to take same medicines and was cured.  And hence, started believing in Christianity.  According to him, Mr. Staines never visited his village or Church during any baptism.  He says that one Nimai Hansda, a cultivator of Manoharpur became a Christian as he was suffering from fever.  According to him, there was no ill-will between Christians and Non-Christians because of conversions and there was no programme of mass conversions in the jungle camp or around that time.

Paul Murmu (W-11)

            According to him, Mr. Staines was attending marriage ceremonies and baptism ceremonies of Christian families.  Whenever Staines could not go for such ceremonies, he would ask him to go for the same.  It was at the invitation of the community and the families that they used to go baptism or marriage ceremonies.  He used to intimate Staines about the programme and Staines used to allow them the vehicles for that purpose.  He cannot ascribe any reason as to why Staines was killed and says he was such a noble person.

John Mathai (W-30)

            He is a linguist working with in the Evangelical Mission which is engaged in preaching the gospel.  According to him, anybody who wants to come to the fold of Christianity would come to the Church leader and if he considers that the person really wants to embrace Christianity, baptism is given to him after a few months.  He is engaged in preaching in Thakurmunda area and also in the study of the Ho language.  He is a, member of the leprosy home committee which is run by the EMSM.  Although there is no relationship between the EMSM and the IEM.  He was running the leprosy home during Graham Staines absence in 1996.  On Staines' instructions, he would write to the EMSM for funds as and when they were required.  They were transferred through a Calcutta bank.  The leprosy mission of India and the Government of Orissa contribute to the leprosy home. The Govt. of Orissa contributes Rs.13000.00 annually and the Baripada Municipality gives Rs.1500.00. As far as the EMSM is concerned, there is no budget for the leprosy home and whenever money is needed, funds are transferred from the EMSM.  The IEM has established two Churches, one at Nangalketa and Baghdapa in the last seven years. The IEM holds  one jungle camp at Balliposi.  The EMSM holds many jungle camps at Mayurbhanj and Keonjhar districts.  In jungle camps, Christian teaching is given by speakers.  Health education is also imparted.  Some times, speakers from abroad also attend jungle camps.  There was some tension in the Baliposi jungle camp in 1998 and it had to be closed as the police said they could not provide any protection because of elections.  Staines had attended the said camp.  On the motive behind the hostility in the jungle camp, he said it was because Christianity was spreading in the area (by area he meant Thakurmunda).  Jungle Camps were being held by the EMSM at Manoharpur, Raika, Sarat, Ramchandarpur and Balaspani, which are tribal dominated areas.  On being asked, as to why these areas were specifically targeted, he said that since Churches were already there, the Churches wanted the jungle camps to be held there.  Staines used to arrange speakers to speak in the jungle camps and take bible studies.  He also used to translate from English to Oriya.  The EMSM was involved in Leprosy Home work and was also supporting Staines in his mission to encourage Christianity at different places.  By encourage he meant that if any people need Bible teaching, Staines would arrange some one for the purpose.  He would also give suggestions to the problems of the local Church leaders.  On being asked whether people suffering from leprosy would come to a jungle camp, he replied that Christian people would bring persons having signs of leprosy to the camp and Staines would examine them and if he felt it was a case of leprosy, they would be directed to come to Baripada.  According to him there have tensions between Christians and non-Christians for the last seven years and he speaks about an incident at Basantpur Church near Thakurmunda where local villagers had asked him to stop praying.  He does not know of any threat to Mr. Staines but feels that because Christianity is spreading one reason to kill Staines and his two children might be to stop the spread of Christianity and so that those who had become Christian would go back to their original religions.  He does not think Graham Staines was responsible for the establishment of any Church Group in Mayurbhanj and Keonjhar.  Conversion to Christianity is mostly confined to poor and illiterate people in Mayurbhanj and Keonjhar.  After a person becomes a Christian, no support is given to him by the Church.

Nehimia Tudu (W-43)

            Speaks about the various Churches run by the EMSM and their activities and the reasons for which people convert to Christianity.  He became a Christian as he wanted to be rid of the fear of spirits.  Champa Bisra, a pastor in Mayurbhanj told him that if he believed in Lord Jesus, he would be free from the fear of spirits.  He went to a house Christians and they prayed for him, the fear disappear.  Staines had chosen him as a Pastor.  Staines used to attend jungle camps but never baptised though at times he used to attend the baptisation programme.  He also speaks about tension between Christians and Non-Christians in Raika and says that in the last four years, some outside boys including one Mahadev Sethi belonging to the RSS have influenced the people and tension has developed.  Mahadev Sethi told him that he belongs to the RSS and he did so, so that he could threaten him.  On the question of the motive behind of the killing of Staines, he says that it was because Christians were not contributing to village sacrifices and they thought that Staines was the main person behind it and if he would be killed, there would be no more Christians.  He also speaks about 107 CR.PC proceedings in his village between Christians and non-Christians.

Manika Gagrai (W-45)

            Speaks about re-conversion and says that he was suffering from fever and on the advise of one Shankai Marandi, he converted to Christianity so that he could be cured.  However his health worsened and he developed tuberculosis and blood pressure.  As none of the Christians helped him and since he was not cured, he re-converted to Hinduism.  Neither did Hindus express displeasure when he converted to Christianity nor did the Christians express displeasure when he was converted back to Hinduism.

            From the examination of the statements of witnesses and the case diaries it appears to the Commission that there are four principal perpetrators of the crime headed by Dara Singh.  They being Dara Singh, Andha Naik, Dipu Das and Mahendra Hembram.

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