Star shines in fugitive interview

Indian gov't insists impersonation

BOMBAY — Rupert Murdoch’s Star TV has scored a news coup.

For two months the Indian police have failed to ferret out Dara Singh, a fugitive accused in the slayings of Australian missionary Graham Stuart Staines and his two sons.

But astonished viewers and an embarrassed government last week saw the fugitive interviewed on Star’s popular program “Aaj ki Baat” (Today’s News), anchored by Rajat Sharma.

While government officials say that the man seen on Star’s show could be an impersonator, Star investigative reporter Binoy Bhusan Patnaik, who interviewed the supposed fugitive on air, said he met him in a forest surrounded by seven armed guards.

The Star coup has rocked the local government, and officials have asked Star for a copy of the taped interview.