Mrunal Manmay Dash

In an explosive statement on the high-profile Naba Das murder case, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader, Pradip Purohit on Wednesday said that a person with an aspiration to become the next Chief Minister of Odisha after Naveen Patnaik, killed Naba Das.

Purohit made the statement while addressing a presser in Bhubaneswar.

“There is infighting in the BJD to grab the CM’s chair after Naveen Patnaik. I am afraid, but that dispute, moreover, the ambition is the cause of Naba Das’murder,” Purohit said.

“Naba Das, being an influential politician with a lot of money, wanted to be the Chief Minister of Odisha. That is why he offered worship to Lord Shani,” Purohit added.

Taking the Crime Branch to task, Purohit alleged that the State investigating agency is working to shield the real culprit behind the murder. It (CB) will come up with a fabricated story to cover up the handler behind accused Gopal Das.

Purohit demanded CBI inquiry in the case. “The Crime Branch is biased and is working for the ruling party. Only a central investigating agency like the CBI can unearth the real killer in the case,” Purohit said.

Later in the day, in an exclusive interview to OTV, Purohit claimed, "There is a race in BJD on who will become CM after Naveen Patnaik. When the information of 'Shani Puja' by Naba Das for the CM post got leaked, he was eliminated. Naba babu was influential and wealthy. To buyout 50 MLAs paying Rs 20-30 crores each is not a big-deal for him."

Earlier, Leader of Opposition (LoP) and senior BJP leader Jayanarayan Mishra had alleged that Gopal Das is just the shooter, but police are not searching for the handler. Many bigwigs are behind the murder. Odisha police is doing drama in the name of investigation, he had alleged.

No comments have been received from the ruling-BJD or the State government in this regard.

Meanwhile, the Crime Branch on Tuesday recreated the crime scene with the prime accused & dismissed-ASI, Gopal Das in Jharsuguda. A CB team along with the local police took Gopal to Gandhi Chhak in Brajarajnagar where he had shot Health Minister Naba Das from a point-blank range on January 29.

(Reported By Soumyaranjan Sahoo, OTV)