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Trial opens in murder of marathon kid’s coach


Bhubaneswar : The trial in the murder of judo coach Biranchi Das, the foster father and coach to marathon sensation kid Budhia Singh, began Tuesday in a fast track court here.

Das was gunned down in front of his judo centre here April 13 last year.

The prime accused in the murder are Raja Acharya and Akhya Behera. Acharya, who faces over 30 cases of extortion, murder and kidnapping, had surrendered before police in Goa May 2008, while Behera surrendered in Bhopal April 22, 2008.

Both were charge sheeted by police in August 2008.

In her four-hour long deposition, Biranchi Das’ widow Gitanjali told Judge Jeevananand Das how her husband was gunned down by Raja Acharya and his accomplice Chagala.

A total of 18 eyewitnesses would be questioned during the trial.

Biranchi Das, a judo teacher, became famous after he adopted and trained six-year-old Budhia, whom he had rescued from a man to whom his impoverished mother Sukanti Singh had sold him for a paltry sum of Rs.800 to work as labour.

Under his tutelage, Budhia created a record in May 2006 by running 65 km from Puri to Bhubaneswar in seven hours. The Limca Book of Records has acknowledged his feat.