Bhubaneswar, Apr 14: Wonder marathon kid Budhia Singh's former coach Biranchi Das was shot dead by some unidentified gunmen in the heart of the city last evening.
Police Commissioner Binaya Behera said some unidentified assailants fired at Biranchi from a close range near the BJB Nagar while he was coming out after attending a Oriya New Year function. He was rushed to the Capital Hospital where the doctor declared him brought dead. Biranchi Das, also president of Orissa Judo Association, was embroiled into a major controversy for allegedly exploiting the child prodigy who became a celebrity afer his non-stop 60-km run from Puri to Bhubaneswar in 2006 and figured in the Limca Book of Record.
Das was at loggerhead with the State Women and Child Development Minister Pramila Mallick for her alleged remark against him for exploiting the wonder kid.
The coach had even moved court against the minister when he was restrained by the government to allow Budhia to participate in the marathon run.
However, Budhia later disasociated from his coach and his mother alleged that his son had been over exploited by Das. The coach was arrested and sent to jail on the complaint lodged by the wonder kid's mother.
Later, the state government took the custody of Bhudhia and admitted him in the sports hostel here.