Senior BJD leader and Odisha’s Health and Family Welfare Minister Naba Kisore Das died in hospital on Sunday evening, hours after he was shot at from point-blank range by a police officer at Brajrajnagar in Jharsuguda district.
According to police sources, Assistant Sub-Inspector (ASI) Gopal Das opened fire at Naba Das at Gandhi Chowk near Brajrajnagar town around 12.15 pm, minutes before the minister was to attend a programme. The accused, who was posted at the Gandhi Chowk police outpost, carried out the killing in the presence of police personnel and the minister’s supporters.Gupteswar Bhoi, Sub-Divisional Police Officer at Brajrajnagar, said the motive for the killing remains unclear and is being investigated.Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his condolences, saying, “Saddened by the unfortunate demise of Minister in Odisha Government, Shri Naba Kishore Das Ji. Condolences to his family in this tragic hour. Om Shanti.”Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said, “He was a grassroots person and was loved and respected by all, cutting across parties and sections of people. His death is a great loss to the State of Odisha.” Earlier, Patnaik visited the hospital where the minister was admittedCrime Branch ADG Arun Bothra, who is in Jharsuguda to supervise the investigation, said the accused has been arrested. A seven-member Special Investigation Team of the Crime Branch, comprising cyber and ballistic experts, among others, has been set up to investigate the case.Videos of the incident show ASI Das approaching Naba Das’s vehicle and, as the minister steps out, the accused opens fire with his service revolver. As the minister slumps over, his supporters help him back into the vehicle.He was rushed to the Jharsuguda district headquarters hospital and later airlifted to Apollo Hospital in Bhubaneswar.A statement issued by Apollo Hospital said the minister was admitted with “gunshot wounds to the left chest”.