Odisha minister Naba Das fired at by police ASI, airlifted to Bhubaneswar

The incident occurred when Das was on his way to attend a programme at Gandhi Chowk in Brajarajnagar

BHUBANESWAR: Odisha health minister and senior Biju Janata Dal leader Naba Kishore Das on Sunday sustained injuries after being shot at by an Assistant Sub-Inspector of Police (ASI) near Gandhi Chhak at Brajarajnagar in Jharsuguda district.

The incident occurred when Das was on his way to attend a programme.

Sources said that ASI Gopal Das opened fire at Naba Das after he stepped out of his vehicle. The exact reason behind the firing is still unclear.

ASI Gopal Das was posted at Gandhi Chhak at Brajarajnagar.

Following the incident, Naba Das was rushed to hospital. Tension prevailed at the spot after BJD activists staged a dharna following the firing incident.

It is suspected that the firing was ‘pre-planned’ as the minister was allegedly shot at from a close range.

The incident has raised serious questions on the security measures as a police escort was also provided to Naba Das who was scheduled to attend a mega programme.

As per initial reports, four to five rounds of gunshots were heard on the spot. Sources said, another person, who was standing near the minister, has also sustained injury along with a police official. However, more clarity on this is awaited.

Brajarajnagar SDPO Gupteswar Bhoi said the Assistant Sub-Inspector had been taken into custody and interrogation was on to ascertain the motive behind the crime.

As Naba Das is a key BJD leader, and firing at him ahead of the 2024 elections is certainly a matter of grave concern as Odisha has a history of witnessing violence during the polls, said senior journalist Prasanna Mohanty.

“We are completely shocked after getting the news over phone. Who is involved and why it happened is too early to say. We pray for his speedy recovery. We condemn the incident, and police will carry out a detailed investigation,” said senior BJD leader Prasanna Acharya

The minister has been airlifted from Jharsuguda district headquarters AIIMS, Bhubaneswar. Senior officials said that Odisha Crime Branch will carry out investigation into the firing on the health minister.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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