Bhubaneswar: A fast track court here on Friday awarded life sentences to 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.
Raja and his associate Akshya Behera alias Chagala, were convicted under sections 302 (murder), 120(B) (conspiracy), 34 (common intention) of IPC and section 25 and 27 of Arms Act.
Biranchi Das had shot into the limelight as the coach of `wonder kid` Budhia Singh, he was murdered 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.
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," Das`s wife Gitanjali, also a judo coach, said.
Raja`s lawyer Bana Mohanty said his clients would appeal against the judgement.