Coach murder duo get life

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  • Published 18.12.10

Bhubaneswar, Dec. 17: A fast-track court today sentenced two persons to life term for killing judo coach Biranchi Das, who shot to fame after he trained a five-year-old boy to run 70km.

The Orissa court held Sandeep Acharya alias Raja, and Akhaya Behera alias Chagala, guilty of the 2008 murder.

Outside the court, public prosecutor Sudhanshu Shekhar Swain alleged that Raja had threatened him during the course of the trial several times. “On the last occasion, he warned that I had committed the mistake by making him an enemy and that I should ensure the safety of my children,” he said.

The prosecutor said though he had kept the police informed, he had not brought the matter to the notice of the trial judge as it might have influenced the course of justice.

Biranchi’s sister Priyanka Das also said she had been threatened by two unidentified bikers. “They used foul language…. They said they were not going to spare me,” said Priyanka, adding that she would inform the police.

Judge Bibekananda Das said Raja had a misplaced “grudge” against the judo coach.

He imposed a fine of Rs 10,000 on the duo but said their actions did not merit the death penalty. Apart from the murder charge, the two have also been found guilty of criminal conspiracy and under the Arms Act.

In 2006, Biranchi had trained five-year-old Budhia Singh, a village boy, to run 70km from Puri to Bhubaneswar. Later, the coach was arrested for allegedly torturing the boy but granted bail.