(BosNewsLife) – A Hindu militant who was sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of Australian missionary Graham Staines and his two minor sons challenged his conviction Tuesday, August 16, in the Supreme Court of India in New Delhi . Dara Singh, whose death penalty was commuted into a life sentence by the Orissa High Court, argued that his conviction was “merely upheld on the basis of presumption of his presence” when a violent mob was shouting slogans in his name. The High Court on May 19 overruled Dara Singh’s death sentence for the murder of Staines and his two minor sons Philip (10) and Timothy (6), but upheld life imprisonment on him for being part of “an unlawful assembly” that burnt them alive in Orissa, one of India’s poorest states, over six years ago. Along with Dara Singh, whose real name is Rabindra Pal Singh, another militant, Mahendra Hembram, was also convicted in the case. However, the Orissa High Court acquitted 11 others who were sentenced to life imprisonment, in a case that sparked worldwide outrage in 1999.
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