Gun attack at Brajarajnagar: Odisha Health Minister Naba Das succumbs to injuries

Bhubaneswar: Health Minister Naba Das (61), who received gun shots when a police ASI opened fire on him at Brajarajnagar today, succumbed to his injuries while being treated at a private hospital here.

The firing took place when the minister alighted from a car to attend a programme and his supporters were garlanding him. He sustained bullet injuries on chest. The incident and sound of the gunshot were caught on a mobile phone camera.

The minister was rescued and rushed to the Jharsuguda District Headquarters Hospital. It was later decided to airlift him to a private hospital in Bhubaneswar as his condition deteriorated.

“The Health Minister was admitted to Apollo Hospital with gunshot wounds to the left chest. A team of doctors led by Dr. Debashish Nayak immediately attended the Minister and operated on him. Upon operation, it was found that a single bullet had entered and exited the body, injuring the heart and left lung and causing massive internal bleeding. 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. The Minister succumbed to his injuries,” said the medical statement.

The accused cop, identified as Gopal Das, was immediately nabbed and then detained by police for questioning. He was serving as an ASI at the Gandhi Chhak police outpost at Brajarajnagar.

The reason behind the extreme act by the ASI was yet to be known. The ASI used his service revolver to fire at the minister, said Gupteswar Bhoi, SDPO, Brajarajnagar.

The Odisha Crime Branch has been directed to probe into the incident.

Das began his political career from Congress party and got elected to Odisha Assembly twice from Jharsuguda constituency in 2009 and 2014. He had served as the working president of Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee. Das left Congress and joined ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) just before the 2019 Assembly elections.

He was appointed as the Health Minister in the Cabinet of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.

Das was the richest MLA in Odisha. Recently, Das was in news for donating a gold pitcher to a Shani temple in Maharashtra.

Das had declared properties worth Rs 34 crore in his statement to the government last year. Das, an MA LLB degree holder, reportedly owned 70 vehicles and three firearms.

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