Bhubaneswar, February 5: Senior BJP leader and Union Education, Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Sunday came down heavily on Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik for keeping mum on the broad daylight murder of State Cabinet Minister Naba Kishore Das by a policeman on January 29 at Brajarajnagar in Jharsuguda district.
“The Crime Branch of the State Police is investigating the case. The appointment of the retired judge of the High Court of Orissa has not been as per the Inquiry Commission Act, 1952,” said Union Minister Pradhan told media persons here.
Terming Odisha DGP Sunil Bansal’s statements that Minister’s murder was one of its kind incidents and only Lord Jagannath could have known it, Pradhan said, “The DGP is trying to escape by taking the name of Lord Jagannath which is totally unacceptable and unfortunate.”
“Nobody in the Odisha Government has any answer why the Assistant Sub-Inspector of Police (ASI) Gopal Das shot the Minister dead from a point blank range. And, the DGP’s statement that only Lord Jagannath knows, speaks volumes about the law and order situation in the State. The case should be investigated by a third party,” said Pradhan.
Maintaining that the State had plunged into a state of lawlessness, Pradhan said people were in doubt as to who was actually running the State.
“After watching several videos in the recent past, people of the State are now doubting as to who is actually running the Government in the State. In three sensitive cases – Mahanaga double murder case, Ananda Toppo death case and a girl’s allegations against BJD MLA Bijay Shankar Das – the High Court had to intervene and direct investigation and register the police complaints,” said the Union Minister.
“Such incidents clearly suggest that law and order in Odisha has failed. The Chief Minister needs to take up responsibility and respect the people’s mandate. You (ruling BJD) have only been given responsibility, and not the authority to treat it as your property,” rued Union Minister Pradhan.
Be it the Minister Naba Kishore Das’ murder, or the recent attack on Balasore Sub-Collector and other such cases, the law and order situation has gone for a toss here. If such incidents can happen to a high-profile Cabinet Minister or a Sub-Collector, one can imagine what could be the condition of a common man, said Pradhan.