Agnihotri readies pic about Aussie Baptist Staines

NEW DELHI — Indian director Sunil Agnihotri is prepping a movie on the life of Australian missionary Graham Staines, who was murdered along with his two young sons by a Hindu zealot in 1999.

“Murder of a Missionary,” to be made in English and Hindi, will focus on the life and work of Staines, particularly among leprosy patients in India.

Agnihotri told reporters shooting would only begin once Staines’ widow, Gladys, has given an OK to a final version of the script.

Staines, a 57-year-old Baptist who had been working in India since 1965, was sleeping in his station wagon in a village in the eastern state of Orissa on Jan. 23, 1999, with his two boys, Timothy, 8, and Philip, 10, when they were attacked by a mob shouting anti-Christian slogans. All three were burned to death in the car.

Mob leader Dara Singh, a Hindu hardliner, was last month sentenced to death by a court in Orissa’s capital, Bhubaneswar. The court jailed 12 others for life.

The role of Singh will be played by Bollywood actor Irfan Khan.

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