Jharsuguda/Bhubaneawar, January 29: Naba Kisore Das, senior BJD leader and Odisha Health and Family Welfare Minister, sustained a bullet injury to his chest after being shot at by a police officer at Brajrajnagar in his home district Jharsuguda on Sunday.
Das, who represents the Jharsuguda Assembly constituency since 2009, was first rushed to the District Headquarters Hospital (DHH) in Jharsuguda where a special team of doctors treated him. Later, he was airlifted to Bhubaneswar for better treatment.
The Minister’s condition is stated to be serious, while the Assistant Sub-Inspector of Police Gopal Das, who opened fire has been detained.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik ordered a Crime Branch probe into the incident.
Sources said at least four to five rounds of bullets were fired at the Minister when he stepped out of his vehicle amid slogans by his supporters. Das collapsed immediately. A local youth and a police officer also sustained bullet injuries.
Condemning the attack, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said, “I am shocked at the unfortunate incident of attack on Naba Das. I strongly condemn the attack on him. I pray for his early recovery.”
The Chief Minister asked senior officers of the Crime Branch to rush to the spot to take up the investigation.
According to Brajarajnagar SDPO Gupteswar Bhoi that ASI Gopal Das, who is posted at the Gandhi Chhak police outpost, opened fire at the Minister. The reason, however, remains unclear.
“We have taken the ASI into custody. He is currently being interrogated by the police,” Bhoi told reporters.
Tension prevailed in the area after supporters of Das staged a dharna over the incident. The three-time MLA from Jharsuguda had switched to the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) from the Congress in January 2019, months before the general Assembly polls.