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Odisha Health Minister Naba Das, shot at by policeman, dies in Apollo

ASI Gopal Das was arrested as he tried to flee. His wife says he was taking treatment for a mental disorder for the past few years. But what triggered the firing is not known: he is currently being interrogated. Bleeding from his chest, Naba Das was airfifted from Jharsuguda district hospital to Apollo hospital in Bhubaneswar, where he died Sunday evening.

BHUBANESWAR, Jan 29: Odisha Minister Naba Das who was shot at by an assistant sub-inspector of police at close range and critically injured when he was alighting from his car to attend a BJD party event in Brajarajnagar in Jharsuguda district on Sunday, died of the bullet injuries after being airlifted to Apollo Hospital in Bhubaneswar.

“The injuries were repaired, and steps were taken to improve the pumping of the heart. He was given urgent ICU care. But, despite best of efforts, he could not be revived and succumbed to his injuries,” a statement issued by the hospital said in the evening.

The Health Minister was first taken to Jharsuguda district headquarters hospitala and later flown to Apollo in Bhubaneswar. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik visited Naba Das in the Apollo hospital. He had suffered serious wounds in the chest on the left, being shot several times.

ASI Gopal Das was arrested as he tried to flee after opening fire. The incident took place at 1 pm. He is currently being interrogated. No details were available.

According to a late report, the policeman is a mental patient and had been undergoing treatment. His wife Jayant told reporters that Gopal Das suffered from mental disorder for the last seven-eight years. However, what triggered the firing is not known.

A loud gunshot was heard amid sloganeering by his supporters. And he staggered back into the car holding his chest. Naba Das was bleeding from his chest as supporters tried to lift him to a car.

"Assistant Sub-inspector of Police (ASI) Gopal Das opened fire at the Minister. The Minister is injured and rushed to hospital," the police told reporters. The motive of the attack is not known yet.

A team of the Odisha crime branch will investigate the incident in Brajarajnagar.

A three-time MLA, Naba Kishor Das is said to be a very influential leader of Jharsuguda who left the Congress to join the BJD a few years ago. He was among the new Ministers who joined the Naveen Patnaik Cabinet in the reshuffle that took place in June last year.

One of the richest Ministers Naba Das had declared movable and immovable property worth Rs 34 cr. Das’ wife owned 65 vehicles, it is reported.


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