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Budhia's mother lodges FIR against his former trainer
December 18, 2007 18:13 IST
Child marathon runner Budhia Singh's mother on Tuesday filed an FIR at a local police station accusing the boy's former trainer of embezzling a huge amount collected for her son's welfare.
"We have received a complaint from Budhia's mother Sukanti Singh today," said Badagada police station in-charge officer Bhabani Patnaik. He said the boy's mother alleged that trainer Biranchi Das had not deposited money collected for the boy in Budhia's bank account.
In her FIR, Sukanti alleged that Das collected donations and cash prizes from different organisations in the country and even abroad. "According to our estimates, more than Rs 5 crore was collected by Das from Bhubaneswar, Kolkata, Lucknow, Mumbai, Delhi and Dubai," she said.
Refuting the charges, Das said it was a fact that many people had promised to donate money for Budhia's welfare, but most of them failed to keep their word.
"I spent lakhs of rupees to groom the child. Neither his mother nor anyone else contributed. I used to spend Rs 1,000 on him everyday," he claimed.
Budhia, who shot to limelight by running a distance of 65 km at a stretch from Puri to Bhubaneswar in 2006, was staying at Orissa judo hall in Bhubaneswar which was run by Das.
The boy was in Das's custody for nearly two years, till Sukanti lodged her first complaint against the trainer early in 2007. Das was arrested and jailed for nearly a week on charges of physically torturing the minor boy.
While Das was out on bail, Sukanti on Tuesday filed another FIR seeking police help to recover the money from him.
Budhia, presently lodged at a state-run sports hostel in Bhubaneswar, was admitted to DAV public school, Chandrasekharpur.
Sukanti further said she would take the matter to the high court if she failed to get justice from police.
"During several road shows in different parts of the country, the boy was used by Das," the mother alleged.
Sukanti's allegation against Das was apparently corroborated by the Child Welfare Committee of Khurda district.
"We have earlier cautioned that Budhia was being commercially used by his trainer for no benefit of the boy. But no one paid any attention towards the allegations made by the CWC," said CWC chairman R S Mishra.
When contacted, Das said, "I am open to any kind of inquiry by any authority. Let them prove that I embezzled Budhia's money".
The police also felt that Sukanti's allegations appeared to be 'superficial'. "She has not mentioned who paid money for Budhia's welfare and how much. It is difficult to investigate into the matter," Patnaik said.