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I was involved in killing Biranchi: man tells channel

I was involved in killing Biranchi: man tells channel

'Goon' says judo coach murdered for money he earned promoting Budhia.

Bhopal/Bhubaneswar: A man claiming to be one of killers of marathon kid Budhia Singh's former coach Biranchi Das surrendered before he police in Bhopal on Tuesday.

The man who identified himself as Chhagla contacted a TV channel's Bhopal office and said he was one of those involved in Biranchi's murder and wanted to reveal important information about the killing.

Das was shot dead on April 13 outside a judo centre in Bhubaneswar. Gangster Raja Acharya, who has more then 30 cases of extortions, murders and kidnapping against him, is a prime suspect in the killing of Biranchi Das.

Chhagla also told the ETV channel that he was staying near the railway station for the past four days.

The ETV staff immediately brought Chhagla from near the railway station to their office, from where the Bhopal police took him in detention.

Before he was whisked away by the police, Chhagla told ETV: "The conspiracy to kill Biranchi Das was hatched at the instance of five people, which included two women. They first contacted local don Raja Acharya, for whom I was working for the past 11 years. But when he refused to do the job, they offered me Rs. 10 lakh for the contract killing. I was also paid Rs.200,000 in advance."

"Chhagla told us that Das was murdered because of the huge money which he (Das) got from foreign countries for promoting Budhia. Some people wanted a share in the money, for which Das was not prepared," an ETV employee said, citing Chhagla, but pleaded anonymity.

Chhagla also told ETV: "Though I was involved in the killing, the conspiracy for which was hatched a month back, I didn't fire at Das. The shots were fired by one Jubilee Sundarrai from his Mauser."

Jubilee Sundarrai is a model and brother of senior Orissa bureaucrat and special relief commissioner Nikunja Kishore Sundarrai. He was not available for comment.

Chhagla also said he came to Bhopal from Kolkata four days ago and was whiling away his time at the railway station and nearby places. He was also left with no money, as the people who had hired him and two others for contract killing had switched off their cell phones and he could not get the remaining Rs.800,000 from them.

The police in Bhopal were tight-lipped and took Chhagla to an undisclosed place for interrogation.

"We have arrested Chhagla from a news channel's office. He claims to be present during the murder. We have also informed the Bhubaneswar police. But I will not be able to tell anything else at this juncture. Interrogation is on," said Additional Superintendent of Police (Bhopal) G.K. Pathak.

An Orissa police official said: "We have deputed a team of police officials to nab him (Chhagla) although we don't believe what he says."

first published:April 22, 2008, 19:20 IST