Rashmi Ranjan

Even though 26 days have passed since the brutal killing of minister Naba Das in a broad daylight, the Crime Branch, which is probing the case, is yet to divulge the motive behind the killing of the heavyweight BJD leader.

The Opposition BJP and Congress have smelled something fishy in the probe and suspected political or personal or business rivalries might be the reason behind the assassination of the minister.

Besides, the Opposition has also accused Crime Branch ADG Arun Bothra and Co of deliberately not revealing the motive of suspended ASI Gopal Das behind the killing of the minister.

The Crime Branch had taken the accused ASI on 13-day remand in three phases and it is believed that the probing agency must have extracted vital information regarding murder from the accused during the interrogation. 

Meanwhile, the Opposition has raised questions over the Crime Branch’s approach in the sensitive case.

“What is the motive and who is behind the killing? Crime Branch knows everything but it is not disclosing,” alleged Leader of Opposition and senior BJP leader Jayanarayan Mishra.

 Echoing the same opinion, Congress MLA Tara Prasad Bahinipati said, “The Crime Branch is well aware of the motive. The truth should come to fore after a proper investigation.”

“I am shocked as why the Crime Branch is yet to ascertain the motive behind the killing. Either they are not interested or they don’t have the competence, that time will tell,” said Bijay Patnaik, Congress leader.

Reacting to the allegations levelled by the Opposition, BJD MLA Amar Prasad Satpathy said, “The investigation is underway. I am hopeful the probe will yield results.”

Earlier yesterday, Minister of State (MoS) Home, Tusharkanti Behera had said the Crime Branch never tried to portray accused Gopal Das as mentally unstable.

Behera’s statement came in response to an adjournment motion in the Odisha Assembly. 

“All the aspects of the case are being probed by the Crime Branch. The eyewitnesses, family members of Naba Das, neighbours and colleagues were questioned too. But the Opposition does not know it,” he had said in the House.

“Two-three persons were summoned and questioned about what had happened on the spot,” said Hitesh Thakkar, Naba Das’ supporter.

It is worthwhile to mention here that the Odisha government has sought the help of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) of the United States for the investigation into the high-profile murder.