Vikash Sharma

Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) president Sarat Patnaik on Sunday trained guns on Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik over the recent murder of one of his cabinet ministers- Naba Kishore Das.

While talking to reporters, the OPCC chief said that there have been incidents of murder in the past. But the Chief Minister has failed to protect his own cabinet minister. It is for the first time in the history of Odisha that a police officer has shot dead a minister.

"We are not satisfied with the ongoing investigation by the Crime Branch. The letters recovered as claimed by Crime Branch from sewage tank are intact, which completely seems just like a story, "said OPCC president adding that even after so many days of the incident, a clear picture is yet to emerge. He further targetted Odisha Police DG over his recent statement and said that leaving everything on Lord Jagannath is not at all acceptable.

Also Read: Naba Das murder: Dharmendra Pradhan targets CM over law and order situation in Odisha

According to the OPCC president, even after so many days of the brutal murder of Naba Das, the chief minister who heads the Home Department is silent.

“The CM (Naveen Patnaik) should answer to the people of Odisha as efforts are on to term the accused police officer Gopal Das as mentally unstable,” he alleged.

"Everybody in the state suspects that there is a big conspiracy behind the murder of Naba Das and the CM should certainly bring out the truth and break his silence over the entire incident. If the state government is incapable of conducting a detailed investigation, it should conduct investigation under the supervision of a sitting judge or order for a CBI probe," said Patnaik.

At the same time, senior Congress leader Narasingha Mishra on Sunday came down heavily on Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and the police department. He demanded Naba Das murder case should be investigated by SIT. 

“We don’t have faith in Odisha police. There are certain reasons. There are many talented officers in the Odisha police. But the government is not allowing them to act independently. So there should be a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to investigate the Naba Das murder case under the supervision of a sitting High Court judge or retired High Court judge. It doesn’t seem that Odisha has a police DG. If the DGP said everything depends on Lord Jagannath, there is no need for the police department. For this, the Chief Minister is responsible since he has held the portfolio of the Home department. On moral grounds, he should relinquish the department and appoint someone in his place. ”

On the other hand, the Odisha Police Service Association came out in support of the police department and took strong exception to the statements of leaders in Opposition parties. 

The association at a press meet alleged such statements would have a negative impact on the police department and its working style. "None is unaware of the Odisha police’s sacrifice and capability. The statements made by the Opposition leaders on the police’s capability are condemnable. They should refrain from making such statements," said president of the association, Itikanta Mahapatra. 

(Reported by Jagdish Das and Atulya Baut, OTV)