Odisha min Naba Kishore Das, who was shot by a policeman, dies of gunshot wound

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Odisha Health Minister Naba Kishore Das, a confidant of the prime minister, passed away on Sunday, January 29 from gunshot wounds, Apollo Bhubaneswar Hospital reported. The state’s health minister was shot and seriously wounded as he was getting out of his car on Sunday, allegedly by a police officer who was captured, authorities said.

The minister was airlifted from Jharsuguda to Bhubaneswar and there he was fighting for his life at the Apollo Hospitals. Hospital authorities were quoted by the PTI news agency as saying: “Odisha Health and Family Welfare Minister Naba Kishore Das dies from a gunshot wound.”

The shooting took place in the city of Brajrajnagar around 1 pm as the minister was on his way to attend a program in the district.

“Associate Sub-Inspector of Police (ASI) Gopal Das opened fire on the minister, who sustained gunshot wounds,” Brajrajnagar SDPO Gupteswar Bhoi told reporters. The accused ASI was caught by locals, who later handed him over to police, he said.

Condemning the incident, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said the criminal branch had been ordered to take up the investigation of the case.

“I am shocked by the unfortunate incident of the attack on Hon’ble Minister Naba Das. I strongly condemn the attack on him.”

Initially, he was taken to the Jharsuguda District Headquarters Hospital, SDPO said.

Das was airlifted to Bhubaneswar in an air ambulance and admitted to Apollo Hospital, Bhubaneswar.

Tension prevailed in Brajrajnagar in the aftermath of the incident, with supporters of the BJD minister questioning “security lapses”.

Bhoi said that the ASI was currently being questioned and more details will be available after a thorough investigation.

The minister, a strongman in the mining hub of Jharsuguda, had switched to the BJD from Congress before the 2019 elections. He is known to have business interests in the coal mining, transport and hospitality sectors.

Meanwhile, Gopal Das’s wife, Jayanati, told reporters at her residence near Berhampur in Ganjam district that she heard news of her husband shooting the minister through TV channels.

Jayanati said that Das suffered from mental disorder for the past seven to eight years, was taking medication and seemed quite normal.

She said that her husband had made a video call to their daughter in the morning.

Das had no personal enmity with the minister, Jayanati said, demanding a proper investigation into the matter to find out the truth.

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