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Two Convicted By Orissa Court For Murder Of Biranchi's Coach

PTI 14 Dec 2010, 10:24:14 IST
Bhubaneswar, Dec 14 : More that two-and-a-half years fter the sensational killing of Biranchi Das, the trainer and judo coach of the world's youngest marathon runner Budhia Singh, a Fast Track court here on Monday convicted gangster Sandeep Acharya alias Raja and his associate for the murder.

Fast Track Court-III Judge Vivekananda Das is scheduled to pronounce the quantum of punishment on December 17 against Raja and his associate Akshya Behera alias Chagala for gunning down Biranchi Das on April 13, 2008.

The court, after examining 28 witnesses including five eye-witnesses, held the duo guilty under sections 302(murder), 120(B) (conspiracy), 34 (common intention) of IPC and section 25 and 27 of the Arms Act.

According to prosecution, Das was shot dead by Raja and Behera in front of the Judo Hall here when he was celebrating 'Mahabisubha Sankranti' on the evening of April 13, 2008.

The conspiracy to eliminate him was hatched as on theĀ  request of a woman artiste, Das had asked Raja not to disturb her, prosecution sources said.

The artiste had sought Das' help to escape Raja's obsession for her, they added.

The court relied upon evidences such as the ballistic, medical, occular and circumstantial reports, associate special public prosecutor (ASPP) Sudhanshu Sekhar Swain said.

While Raja was arrested on May 5, 2008 after he surrendered before the police at Panaji in Goa, Chagala had surrendered in Bhopal on April 29, 2008.

Terming the court judgement as "satisfying", Commissioner of Police B K Sharma said for the first time state police used "voice spectrography" which provided a lot of technical evidence to support prosecution though the weapon used in the crime could not be recovered.

"We are happy the killers are convicted under section 302 of the IPC. I am looking forward to the quantum of punishment," said Das' wife Gitanjali, also a judo coach.

Raja's lawyer Bana Mohanty said his clients would appeal against the judgement. The ASPP 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 had played a significant role in grooming 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-years-old.

"I am happy that the killer is convicted," Budhia, presently staying at Kalinga Stadium Sports Hostel, told reporters.

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.