Source AP ©

Coach of famous Indian boy arrested for allegedly beating him

The coach of a Budhia Singh, 6-year-old Indian boy, famous for running marathons has been charged with torture, police say.

Biranchi Das was arrested and charged after the boy's mother said she discovered scars on the body of her son, said Budhia Singh, police official Sarat Chandra Sahu in Bhubaneshwar, the capital of the eastern state of Orissa.

Singh became an instant celebrity in record-crazy India when he ran 65 kilometers (40 miles) at the age of 4 - a feat that also drew immediate, widespread condemnation from medical officials and child rights activists.

The boy's mother, Sukanti Singh, had supported Das' efforts to train her son, but on Monday she alleged the man was severely mistreating the boy.

"Biranchi was beating him up regularly," said Sukanti Singh. "He even once tied Budhia up from a ceiling fan and threw hot water on his body." Budhia Singh had been living with the coach.

The boy was taken to a hospital for examinations, and was assigned security guards after his mother claimed Das has threatened their lives.

Das denied the allegations, calling the charges "a conspiracy against me hatched by the state government's child welfare department."

The department had condemned the boy's participation in marathons as "torture" in May, a month before police stopped him from making a 100-kilometer (60-mile) walk in scorching heat across east India.