Mrunal Manmay Dash

Retired Orissa High Court judge, Justice JP Das will monitor the Crime Branch inquiry into Minister Naba Das’ assassination.

The Orissa High Court appointed justice JP Das after Odisha government’s request on January 30 to monitor the inquiry into the high profile murder case.

Monitoring by a judge will bring transparency into the probe, claimed the government.

It is pertinent to mention here that following the killing of Health Minister Naba Das, the Odisha government had directed the Crime Branch to take over the probe into his murder.

Naba Das died after a police ASI, Gopal Das posted at Gandhi Chhak police outpost in Brajarajnagar, opened fire at him from a close range.

As per an eyewitness’ account, the accused ASI, who was later dismissed from his job and arrested by the CB, shoved others to get closer to the Minister when he arrived at Gandhi Chhak for a programme. And before anybody could think anything, he fired a shot from his service revolver.

“Gopal Das was earlier posted at Belpahar police station. I have known him since then. On that day, he was at the spot in uniform. We had a formal chit-chat for around 15 minutes,” narrated, Suvendu Pattanayak, an eyewitness.

“When the Minister arrived at the spot, I along with some others went towards him to welcome him. Just then, the ASI went ahead pushing us aside. When I asked him why he was in so haste, he said he had something to discuss with the Minister. As the Minister was getting down from his vehicle and we were welcoming him shouting slogans and garlanding him, he came from behind and opened fire at the Minister,” added Pattanayak.

Brajarajnagar JMFC court on Tuesday sent Gopal Das on 4-day Crime Branch remand for further questioning.

(Reported By Gautam Panda, OTV)