Naba Kisore Das, a highly regarded senior leader of the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) party and the Health Minister for the state of Odisha, suffered a bullet wound to his chest after being shot by a police officer in Brajrajnagar, Jharsuguda district, on Sunday. Moreover, the Jharsuguda assembly constituency has been represented by Das since 2009.
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Minister rushed to the hospital
In response to the incident, Das was promptly rushed to the district headquarters hospital (DHH) located in Jharsuguda, where a team of specially trained medical professionals are providing him with medical care. Despite their efforts, sources indicate that his condition is quite serious and he may need to be airlifted to Bhubaneswar for additional medical treatment to improve his chances of recovery.
According to the police, the incident happened at Gandhi Chowk in Brajrajnagar while the minister was leaving for an important event.
The minister was shot by assistant sub-inspector (ASI) Gopal Das, who has been assigned to the Gandhi Chowk police station, according to Gupteswar Bhoi, a subdivisional police official in Brajrajnagar. The exact cause of the shooting is yet unknown. Police said, “We have taken the ASI into custody, who is currently being interrogated by the police. At this moment, I am not able to tell the exact reason as to why the police officer took such step.”
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Four-five bullet shots at the Minister
When the minister got out of his car, sources claim that at least four to five rounds of bullets were shot at him. After the event, the minister passed out instantly. A local teenager and police officer were also hurt during the incident.
After Das’ supporters held a dharna there in protest of the incident, tensions were high. In January 2019, months before the general and assembly elections, Das, a three-time MLA from Jharsuguda, left Congress for the BJD. One of Naveen Patnaik’s wealthiest ministers, the health minister has disclosed total assets of Rs 34 crore, including those in his spouse’s name, as of December 31, 2021, per his annual property declaration.
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