Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Odisha health minister Naba Das shot at by policeman, critical

JHARSUGUDA : Odisha health and family welfare minister Naba Kishore Das was shot at by an assistant sub-inspector (ASI) of police near Gandhi Chowk in Jharsuguda district’s Brajrajnagar at about 12:15 pm on Sunday.He was stepping out of his vehicle when bullets hit the left side of the minister’s chest. He immediately collapsed into the seat of his vehicle. A police inspector and a youth who were standing near the minister sustained minor injuries.

Sources said the accused ASI Gopal Das who was posted at Gandhi Chowk police outpost fired at least four rounds at Naba Das when he stepped out of his car to attend a party function in Brajarajnagar.

Naba Das was immediately rushed to District Headquarters Hospital in Jharsuguda and was later airlifted to Bhubaneswar for further treatment. His condition is stated to be critical.Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik condemned the attack and ordered a Crime Branch inquiry.
A Crime Branch team is expected to reach the crime scene soon.Unconfirmed reports said that ASI Gopal Das had been posted as the personal security officer of the health minister earlier but was later transferred to Jharsuguda district.
Naba Das was reportedly supposed to attend a party programme scheduled near Gandhi Chowk. Police sources said that the health minister was stepping out of his car at Gandhi Chowk when the accused shot him from a close range. Videos of Naba Das being shot and the accused being overpowered have gone viral. The minister is seen bleeding from the chest with people trying to lift him, and place him on the front seat of a car.

Brajrajnagar SDPO, Gupteswar Das confirmed that the accused ASI had shot the minister with his issued weapon. “However, the motive behind the shooting is not clear yet. An investigation has been launched into the incident,” he added.
The state government has deployed a fully-equipped ambulance at Biju Patnaik International Airport to rush Naba Das to Apollo Hospitals where he will undergo the surgery. Sources added that Dr Pratap Rath will perform the surgery.Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik is currently at the hospital.
The minister, a strongman in the mining hub of Jharsuguda, had switched over to the BJD from the Congress ahead of 2019 elections. He is known to have business interests in coal mining, transportation and hospitality sectors.

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