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Last Updated: Friday, 5 May 2006, 16:58 GMT 17:58 UK
Check-up for India's running boy
By Sandeep Sahu
BBC News, Bhubaneswar

Budhia Singh has earned a place in the record books

Police in eastern India have taken Budhia Singh, the four-year-old wonder boy famed for his marathon runs, for a medical check-up.

Budhia's coach and the Orissa State authorities have been locked in a legal battle over the boy's welfare since he caught the media's attention last year.

A police team in the state capital, Bhubaneswar, swooped on Budhia and his coach, Biranchi Das.

They were taken away for a medical check-up despite Mr Das's protests.

He had asked for some time but the police team did not agree to his request.

Budhia later told journalists he had just finished his bath and was preparing to have his lunch when the police arrived.

He said the policemen dragged him by his hand and forced him into the police vehicle.

At the Capital Hospital, a team of five doctors conducted a series of tests on Budhia to determine his condition.

Among the doctors was a sports medicine specialist from the Sports Authority of India (SAI), Dr M Bhattacharya.

The findings of the test have not yet been released.

Exploitation fears

The leader of the police team that brought Budhia to the hospital, DSP Durlabh Singh, said the police had acted on the orders of the district child welfare committee (CWC).

Biranchi Das and Budhia Singh
Coach Das has dismissed the fears over Budhia

He denied that the police had used force to take Budhia to the hospital.

The women and child welfare department in the state has been fighting a long-running battle with Biranchi Das, accusing him of exploiting his ward for pecuniary gain.

The CWC, a statutory body under the department, has filed a complaint against Mr Das with the police and issued him several summons.

Mr Das, in turn, has appealed to the Orissa High Court alleging harassment by the department.

On Thursday, the High Court issued an interim order restraining the government and its agencies from harassing Mr Das until a final ruling in the case.

On Tuesday, Budhia Singh got a place in the Limca Book of Records, the Indian equivalent of the Guinness Book of Records, by running a distance of 65km non-stop in just seven hours and two minutes.

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