Vikash Sharma

The recent brutal assassination of Odisha health minister Naba Das in broad daylight by an Assistant Sub-Inspector (ASI) rank officer is still saddled with several pertinent questions and mystery over the exact motive behind the killing.

The family members yesterday claimed before the media that they suspect some ‘top level’ conspiracy behind the brutal murder of Naba Das.

The opposition parties too have questioned the silence of top police and other administrative officials over the entire incident. Though it is being claimed that the accused ASI Gopal Krushna Das is ‘mentally ill’, why he was given such crucial responsibility at the outpost is still a mystery, and why senior officials of Odisha Police were not aware of his mental condition.

Even the Crime Branch which is investigating the case too doesn’t have any concrete answer regarding what prompted the ASI to fire at Naba Das from such a close range. Did the accused ASI commit the crime under the influence or instruction of any person? Several such questions still remained unanswered.

Under such circumstances, all eyes will be on the Odisha Crime Branch which is all set to take the ASI Gopal Krushna Das on a seven-day remand for interrogation.

Amid the ongoing mystery surrounding the assassination of Naba Das, the opposition parties including the BJP and Congress are not leaving any stoned unturned to target the Odisha government over the issue.

Odisha BJP President, Samir Mohanty on Tuesday said, “It seems that the government is now in a coma. One of the cabinet minister succumbed to the bullet fired by a police personnel and CM Naveen Patnaik, who holds the home portfolio, has not spoken a word regarding the probe.”

According to Mohanty, Odisha Police DG also did not visit the spot and the home secretary has also maintained silence on the issue. “We want to ask who is running the government in Odisha and we do not know what to expect from it,” he said.

The state BJP president said that the accused ASI was awarded in the past by the government. It is unclear what prompted him to fire at the health minister from a close range.

“ASI will commit the crime and Odisha Police will investigate it. Crime Branch was entrusted to probe several sensitive cases, but it has failed to deliver. Hence, we demand the Odisha government to hand over the responsibility of investigation to CBI without delay as there is every possibility to create a path to destroy evidence,” Mohanty added.

Senior Congress leader, Sudarshan Das too raised questions on the Odisha government’s move to hand over the case to Crime Branch.

“People in the state are now asking why Odisha DGP and CM Naveen Patnaik have maintained silence on the sensitive issue. Crime Branch has failed to unravel the mystery behind several cases in the past. This time also it is also an attempt and conspiracy to suppress the truth,” said Das.

Das further demanded that the state government should order a Special Investigation Team (SIT) and probe under the supervision of a High Court sitting judge.

Responding to the opposiition allegations, senior BJD leader Debi Prasad Mishra said, "Instead of making allegations, the opposition should advice what to do as they have problems in police and crime branch investigation always.”

Mishra further said that the entire investigation will be transparent as the crime branch investigation will be monitored under the judiciary. “The opposition should wait for the outcome of the probe. The opposition should not make allegations only for the sake,” Mishra added.

(OdishaTV Bureau)