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Death threat to Indian priest over Staines case

A group claiming to defend Dara Singh, who has been convicted of murdering Australian missionary Graham Staines and his two sons in 1999, has threatened to kill a priest in Orissa if the conviction is not reversed.

Fr Kuriakose of a Catholic church at Labanyadeipur in Mayurbhanj district said he got a letter from "Dara Sena" after a court last Monday found the man and 12 others guilty of murdering Staines and his minor sons, a police official said.

The judge in the case is scheduled to pronounce the sentences against them today.

The police official said the priest and his church had been provided security, and officials were investigating if the letter was real or fake.

In a related development, police have arrested 10 people in the past two weeks for trying to disrupt court proceedings during the trial of the accused in the Staines case and raising slogans calling Dara Singh the "saviour of Hinduism".

Dara Singh led a group of Hindu fanatics who burnt to death Staines and his sons Timothy and Philip at Monoharpur in Keonjhar district on the night of 22 January 1999.

Hindustan Times

Indian bishops welcome conviction in murders of missionary, sons (17/9/03)
Christian body welcomes Staines' verdict (Press Trust of India)
Orissa: AOUCF expresses confidence in judiciary (The Hindu)
Orissa: Staines case verdict lauded (The Hindu)
13 convicted of killing Staines (Gulf Daily News)
Indian high court denies a "right" to religious conversion (Catholic World News)
Jesuits in India say Hindu zealots behind sex-abuse charges (7/8/03)
17 Men Charged in Murder of India Missionary (Christianity Today)
Christian outfit to confront attacks launched (22/10/00)
What have the communalists learnt from Staines' murder? (Dominic Emmanuel, Spokesman, the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India, New Delhi - The Hindu)
Catholic Bishops Conference of India

22 Sep 2003