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Budhia’s coach muder case: gangster Raja, another convicted

The boy-wonder Budhia Singh in the arms of his mentor-cum-coach Biranchi Das in Bhubaneswar. A file photo: Ashoke Chakrabarty  

A fast track court here today convicted gangster Sandeep Acharya alias Raja and one of his associates for killing of judo coach Biranchi Das, who had groomed world’s youngest marathon runner Budhia Singh.

Fast Track Court-III judge Vivekananda Das is likely to pronounce the quantum of punishment on December 17 against Raja and his associate Akshya Behera alias Chagala, convicted under sections 302 (murder), 120(B) (conspiracy), 34 (common intention) of IPC and section 25 and 27 of Arms Act.

According to prosecution, ‘wonder kid’ Budhia Singh’s coach Biranchi Das was murdered when he was celebrating ’Mahabisubha Sankranti’ in the evening of April 13, 2008, by Raja and Behera in front of the Judo Hall here.

The judgement was pronounced 32 months after the incident. In the case 28 witnesses, including five eye-witnesses were examined.

The court relied upon evidence like ballistic, medical, occular and circumstantial reports, assistant special public prosecutor Sudhanshu Sekhar Sahu said.

While Raja was arrested after he surrendered before the police at Panaji in Goa, Chagala surrendered in Bhopal a couple of days after the murder.

“We are happy that the killers are convicted under section 302 of the IPC. I am looking forward to the quantum of punishment,” Mr. Das’s wife Gitanjali, also a judo coach, said.

Raja’s lawyer Bana Mohanty said his clients would appeal against the judgement.

The court found Raja and Chagala guilty on all the sections under which they were charged.

The assistant public prosecutor (APP) said Biranchi Das became a target of Raja because the judo coach on request of a woman artiste had asked the gangster (Raja) not to disturb her.

The artiste had sought Mr. Das’ help to escape Raja’s obsession for her.

The APP also said Behera’s confession to the crime on a television interview in Bhopal came handy for the prosecution.

The murder of the judo coach created a sensation as the victim was associated with Budhia, who covered a distance of 65 km from Puri to Bhubaneshwar on May 2, 2006 in 7.02 hours when he was only six-year-old.

“I am happy that the killer is convicted,” Budhia, presently staying at Kalinga Stadium Sports Hostel, told reporters. Budhia has been staying in the hostel for the past three years after he alleged Mr. Das of torturing him.

Conviction of Raja and Behera brought jubilation among students as well as trainers at the Judo Academy in the State capital. They hailed the verdict as a victory of truth

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Printable version | Oct 23, 2020 12:15:09 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/Budhiarsquos-coach-muder-case-gangster-Raja-another-convicted/article15591809.ece

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