Biranchi Das, former coach of marathon wonder kid Budhia Singh, was shot dead by unidentified gunmen as he was overseeing preparations for a function to celebrate the Oriya new year on Sunday.
The gunmen called the 40-year-old judo trainer outside the State Judo Association Hall on some pretext and shot him, police said.
Police said the murder had nothing to do with Budhia, with whose family Biranchi traded allegations of exploitation and money dealings last year. His family members said Biranchi had locked horns with a criminal gang. They said he could have been killed for trying to help out an actress who was being threatened by the gang for money. Police said it was early to comment on this.
Biranchi shot into limelight in 2006 after he groomed Budhia to demonstrate his awesome talents in long-distance running. He took the boy across the country, and abroad, before getting into a tussle with the state government which accused him of exploiting the child.