The Odisha Police in its FIR in the killing of Health minister Naba Kishore Das said the accused assistant sub-inspector (ASI) Gopal Das had ”clear intention” to kill the minister. This was stated by Brajrajnagar Police Station inspector-in charge (IIC) Pradumnya Kumar Swain, who was present at the site when the ASI allegedly opened fire at the 60-year-old minister, leading to his death after some hours during treatment on Sunday.
”All of a sudden, ASI Gopal Das of Gandhi Chowk Police Outpost, who was deployed for traffic clearance duty for the programme, came close to the minister and opened fire from his service pistol from a very close range aiming at the minister with a clear intention to kill him,” the IIC said his complaint at Brajrajnagar Police station.
Swain, who sustained bullet injury on his ring finger from the second round allegedly fired by the ASI, said that police officers/men of different units were mobilised and deployed on January 29, 2023 from 10.30 am onwards to discharge their duties in traffic arrangement, law and order, escort and pilot duty and others for the minister’s programme. ”At about 12.15 pm the car of minister Naba Kishore Das stopped near the building and he got down from the vehicle after opening the front side passenger door of the vehicle. All of a sudden, ASI Das who was deployed for traffic clearance duty for the programme, came close to the minister and opened fire from his service pistol from a very close range aiming at the minister.”
Swain said that the bullet hit the chest of the minister and he fell down. There was profuse bleeding from the bullet wound on the body of the minister, the IIC said, adding that he along with constable KC Pradhan caught hold of the accused ASI.
”During push and pull the ASI fired two more rounds of bullets from his 9 mm pistol. From his second fire, I received injury on my ring finger,” IIC Swain said. Apart from minister, the IIC wrote in the FIR that another man namely Jibanlal Nayak@Rintu of Kalinagar also received injury. After some struggle Swain and constable Pradhan overpowered accused Das and disarmed him.
Meanwhile, ADG Crime Branch, Arun Bothra, who had interrogated the accused ASI said that Das has ”confessed” to the crime of opening fire at the minister. The opposition BJP and Congress raised several questions and saw a ”conspiracy” behind the minister’s killing.
Former Odisha Law minister and Congress Legislature Party leader Narasingha, who is a lawyer by profession said: ”As per my reading, it is a part of the deep rooted conspiracy and needs impartial probe. It is surprising as to why sufficient police personnel were not deployed and ASI Das engaged in traffic clearance came dangerously close to the minister.”
Leader of Opposition Jaynarayan Mishra of BJP said he suspects a conspiracy as the accused ASI was issued the pistol a day before the minister’s visit to his area. ”There should a CBI probe to ascertain truth behind the cabinet minister’s murder,” Mishra said. Meanwhile, BJP MP from Kalahandi constituency Basant Panda said he would raise the Odisha minister murder issue in Parliament.