Mrunal Manmay Dash

Taking forward its probe into the daylight murder of Minister Naba Kishore Das, the Crime Branch of Odisha Police on Tuesday recreated the crime scene with the prime accused and sacked ASI Gopal Das in Jharsuguda district.

A CB team along with the local police took Gopal to Gandhi Chhak in Brajarajnagar today where he had shot Health Minister Naba Das from a point-blank range on January 29.

Holding a demo gun in one hand with his face covered with a towel, Gopal enacted the entire episode of the cold-blooded murder starting from the Minister’s arrival to police officers overpowering him after the shootout for at least 40 minutes. The Crime Branch video graphed the entire act.

After the act was over, Gopal was taken to the Jharsuguda 2nd Battalion.

Importantly, the Crime Branch brought Naba Das’ official car to the crime scene in which he traveled on the fateful day and the other car of the Health department followed him behind in the carcade.

It is pertinent to mention here that a bullet mark was also discovered in the second car following Naba Das in his carcade that day. While it is unclear if Gopal had fired that shot, the crime scene recreation is expected to help the CB understand everything.

However, as per the experts, all this exercise is futile and bears no weightage in the court of law. So, why did the Crime Branch take all this pain to take Gopal to the crime scene and make him enact the events of that day?

Attempting to answer this, senior lawyer, Manas Chand opines, “Crime scene recreation does not have any value in the court. The law does not accept it as evidence. This is only an eyewash by the police to show the people that they are doing something in this case.”

On the other hand, Naba Das’ High School teacher was apprehensive of the investigation process as a whole and the purported handwritten letter of Gopal in particular. Speaking to OTV, teacher Bhakta Prasad Nanda said, “Gopal Das is still mum on the motive behind killing Naba Das. I became particularly pessimistic of the inquiry after the letter was discovered from a septic tank after soaking in sewage water for two days.”

“This is a question of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s credibility. Big shot officials have been entrusted with the probe. If they succeed, Naveen Patnaik will rise in stature, otherwise, his goodwill will definitely take a hit,” Nanda said.

Meanwhile, one of Naba Das’ supporters, Jeevan Nayak, who sustained bullet injury after the bullet which killed Naba Das grazed his neck on that fateful day, was discharged from the hospital on Monday.

per Nayak, he heard a bullet sound when he bowed down to touch the feet of Naba Das. “I felt something brushing on my neck. When I got up, I saw Dada (Naba Das) collapsing on the car seat in a pool of blood.

Pertinent to mention here that, Gopal Das’ second four-day remand will end on Wednesday. It is to be seen if the Crime Branch will seek another remand of Gopal and can actually shed some light on the motive behind the high-profile murder.