Odhisa Health Minister shot; succumbs to injuries

Naba Kisore Das, the Odisha Health and Family Welfare Minister was shot on the chest while the minister was on his way to attend a public function at Brajarajnagar, a town in western Odisha. The gun shot on the chest was reportedly fired by an Assistant Sub-Inspector (ASI) of the police.

Assistant Sub-Inspector Gopalkrushna Das was deployed for protection the Minister and had fired two rounds at the minister as he got off his car and was being felicitated by his supporters. The assailant has been detained. Jharsuguda Sub-divisional police officer Gupteswar Bhoi told the news agency, The Hindu, that the ASI Das had fired at the Minister and two other persons sustained injuries in the incident.

The Minister was coming out of his car at Gandhi Chhak when the police personnel opened fire at him, Das immediately fell to the ground. His associates and supporters rushed him to Jharsuguda District Headquarter Hospital.

As his health condition remained critical, the minister was airlifted to the Apollo Hospital in Bhubaneswar, where he succumbed to his injuries.

The accused police personnel is being interrogated. Senior police personnel said the assailant did not get to run away from the spot after firing at the Minister. He was caught by the locals and has been taken into custody, the police said. The Chief Minister of Odhisa has asked the Crime Branch to investigate the incident and a seven-member Special Investigating Team has been formed.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik condemned the attack on Health minister Das, said, “I am shocked at the unfortunate incident of attack on Mr. Das. I strongly condemn the attack on him. I pray for his early recovery,” said Patnaik .“

Gopal Das was being treated for bipolar disorder by a psychiatrist, reported the news agency, Press Trust of India.  Despite the history of mental disorder, he was in charge of law and order arrangement for the minister’s visit. He was issued a service revolver and appointed in-charge of a police post at Brajrajnagar, PTI reported.

Jayanti Das, the wife of the ASI told the ‘Orissa Post’ that he was not “mentally well”, that he was “taking medicine for mental illness” and that his behaviour with family was good.

“The injuries were repaired, but despite best efforts, he could not be revived and succumbed to his injuries,” the hospital said in a statement.

The hospital said that the bullet had injured the minister’s heart and caused internal bleeding. 

SC Desk

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