Orissa police hopeful of breaking in Budhia coach murder case

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Bhubaneswar, Apr 22 (UNI) The arrest of a co-accused in the sensational murder of child marathon sensation Budhia Singh's coach Biranchi Das and an associate of Gangster Raja Acharaya, the prime suspect in the murder, were considered by police as a vital clue to break the deadlock in the murder case.

While the co-accused in the murder case Chagala was arrested in Bhopal today during an interview to a TV channel, another associate of Raja Acharaya, identified as Saroj Sahu alias Tukuna, was nabbed from Cuttack and handed over to Bhubaneswar police for interrogation.

A four-member police team, led by Mr Suresh Mohanty, left for Bhopal to bring back contract killer Chhagla on transit police remand for further interrogation, Commissioner Binaya Kumar Behera said.

Chagala, an accomplice of gangster Raja Acharaya, prime suspect in the murder, was also wanted in connection with the crime.

Biranchi, a judo coach, was shot dead on April 13 last in front of the Judo Association Hall here by three motorcycle-borne assailants.

Gangster Raja Acharaya, who was involved in the murder as alleged by the coach's wife in an FIR, had since been absconding. Police had also definite information that Chagala was behind the killing as he went along with others to kill the coach.

The Bhubaneswar police had constituted a special investigation team, headed by Additional Police Commissioner Y B Khurania, to nab the culprits involved in the sensational murder. Police had raided several hideouts during the past eight days but failed to nab either Raja Acharaya or Chagala.

A Bhopal report said Chhagla told the TV channel that he was given the 'supari' (murder contract) of Rs ten lakh to eliminate Biranchi Das. He also named a senior IAS officer and one Jublee Sundarray, a studio owner in Bhubaneswar, as the persons behind the killing of Biranchi Das.

But the Bhubaneswar Police were not willing to buy the statement of Chagala before the Bhopal Police and suspected that it was a plot to divert the attention of police on Raja Acharaya, who had been absconding ever since the killing.

Meanwhile, Jublee Sundarray here dubbed the statement of Chagala involving his name in the murder as ''false, fabricate and motivated.

He told the newsmen that he did not know Chagala and was shocked to hear that his name had been dragged in the murder case.

Police Commissioner B K Behera said police would surely unravel the mystery behind the killing of the Judo coach after the co-accused - Chagala and Raja's associate Tukuna - were interrogated by the team here.

The murder of Biranchi Das had exposed the nexus between the gangster and the officials prompting Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to order an inquiry by the Director General of Police and subsequently handed over the probe to the Lok Pal.

The Chief Minister today said the Lok Pal had been requested to probe into the matter, adding string action would be taken against whoever would be found guilty in the Lok Pal report.

The Opposition Congress in Orissa, however, had demanded a CBI inquiry into the incident which they said would also unravel the alleged nexus between police, bureaucrats and the gangster in the state.

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