Pradeep Pattanayak

Even as three days have passed since Health Minister Naba Das was murdered, the police are yet to ascertain the reason why ASI Gopal Das committed such a crime. 

The Crime Branch (CB) has taken the accused Das on a four-day remand. The question is what more information the CB wants to extricate from accused Das. 

But the CB has been maintaining a stoic silence on the progress of the investigation. Meanwhile, a theory is doing the rounds that the CB may take the accused Das to the crime spot to recreate the crime scene. 

“The Crime Branch had sought seven days' remand of Gopal Das. But the court granted four days’ remand, starting February 1,” informed Harishankar Agarwal, Gopal Das’ advocate. 

On the other hand, a CB team on Wednesday visited Gopal’s house at Ankuli under BN Pur police limits in Berhampur. The officials quizzed Gopal’s wife and nephew. 

It is discussed in the locality that the CB wanted to know how Gopal’s elder brother was linked to the incident? How he closed his hotel on the day of the incident? Did the sibling duo plot the murder? 

Gopal Das’ wife Jayanti Das said she is cooperating with the CB investigation. 

“I am cooperating with the investigation. But I don’t know where they (CB) have kept my husband’s elder brother,” she said. 

At the same time, another team of the CB along with a forensic team on Wednesday visited Badmal police station in Jharsuguda. There, they inspected two vehicles including the one in which late Health Minister Naba Das was sitting on the day of the crime.  While there are blood stains on one vehicle, there is a bullet hole on the second vehicle. 

The Odisha Government on Wednesday suspended Naba Das’ PSO Mitrabhanu Deo while Brajarajnagar IIC Pradyumna Kumar Swain and Gandhi Chhak outpost in-charge SI Sashibhushan Podha were transferred. 

It is worth mentioning that acting on the request of the Odisha government, the Orissa High Court appointed justice JP Das to monitor the Crime Branch inquiry.


(Reported by Sanjay Kumar Jena, Ashok Brahma and Bhagirathi Sahu, OTV)