Pradeep Pattanayak

Even though 24 hours have passed since Odisha’s Health Minister Naba Das was assassinated, the police are still maintaining a stoic silence as to the motive behind the murder. 

For the first time in the history of Odisha, a Minister was murdered by a cop in broad daylight. Late Health Minister Naba Das was murdered by ASI Gopalkrushna Das in his home district on Sunday. While the incident shook the State to its core, several questions have now been raised putting the government and police administration in the dock. 

These are the questions presently ringing in people’s mind:
1.    Why did a cop murder a Minister?
2.    Is it a part of a larger political conspiracy?
3.    Did the cop kill the Minister to settle his personal score?
4.    Did the cop commit the crime due to mental illness?
5.    Is there involvement of any other people? 
6.    Is business rivalry behind the murder?
7.    Did it take place due to police negligence?
8.    Did it take place due to the failure of the Intelligence department? 
9.    If the ASI was mentally unstable, why a service revolver was provided to him? 
10.    Were the Standard Operation Procedures (SOPs) followed during the visit of the Minister?

Let us understand what should be the Standard Operation Procedures (SOPs) to be followed during the visit of a Minister. 
As per the rules of the Home Department, SOPs as per the Yellow Book are issued during the visit of the Governor, Chief Minister, or any Minister. 

The personal secretary of a Minister informs the district Collector, SP and DGP details about the Minister’s visit. An officer is appointed as programme in-charge. While the security arrangements are made in accordance with the programme, PSO, piloting and protection forces are deployed. The piloting team and protection force have a police officer and half a section of the force. In case of extra force requirement, the SP informs range DIG. Most importantly, during a Minister’s visit, Intelligence and Law and Order team look after the security arrangements keeping close coordination among themselves. 

Former DGP Sanjeev Marik said, “From the footage, I guess SOPs weren’t followed properly.”

Meanwhile, the deceased leader’s relatives and some supporters alleged that the murder is part of a larger conspiracy. 
“It was a part of a conspiracy. And it was a top-level conspiracy,” deceased Minister Naba Das’ uncle Seshadev Das said.


(Reported by Alok Mohanty, Harihar Chand and Bhagirathi Sahu, OTV)