Odishatv Bureau

Amid confusion over the request for the US Federal Bureau of Investigation's (FBI) assistance in the Naba Das murder case, the Odisha Crime Branch (CB) on Saturday released a communiqué, stating that the State government did send a letter requesting such assistance to the Union Home Ministry. 

In the press release, the CB said, “During the investigation in murder case of Sri Naba Kishore Das the accused Gopal Krishna Das and his family members claimed that he was taking medicine for mental illness. As such steps were taken for examination of his mental health. The medical experts found him mentally fit but suggested further examinations.” 

“As this was a very important, sensitive, and rare case, it was decided to use the best techniques and experts to help in the investigation. In this process, help was taken from the Central Forensic Science Laboratory, GoI, New Delhi, the State Forensic Laboratory of Gujarat, and SCB Medical College, Cuttack. The NIMHANS, GOI, Bangalore was also approached to send a team of experts to Odisha to which they expressed their inability,” stated the communiqué. 

According to the Crime Branch, "To clearly establish that the accused has sound mental health, the Crime Branch decided to approach the Behavioural Analysis Unit of the FBI which has the best experts and equipment for such criminal investigation. 

However, according to rules no State Govt. can approach any foreign agency directly for such help. It is only through the MHA, GOI that such assistance can be sought from a foreign agency/authority. Earlier also, help has been sought and received from the FBI by various police agencies of the country in their cases as in 26/11 Mumbai blast case and in Bhanwari Devi murder case of CBI. 

Accordingly, on a request of CID-CB, the Home Department, Government of Odisha, approached the MHA, GOI to request the FBI USA for help in the investigation of the assassination of Naba Das. 

"In this connection, the Home Department, Govt. of Odisha vide its letter No.187/C/22.02.2023 requested The Ministry of Home Affairs, GOI to seek the help of the FBI in accordance with The Mutual Assistance Treaty (MLAT) with the USA which provides for the mechanism for seeking and rendering mutual assistance in criminal investigations," the Crime Branch clarified in its letter. 

Earlier there was confusion following a response of the Union Home Ministry to an online RTI application (application no-MHOME/R/E/23/01248 dated 28.3.2023) of Laxminarayan Kanungo of Bhubaneswar. 

Kanungo had sought information through RTI regarding CM's request for FBI help in the investigation of Naba Das murder case. The Ministry of Home Affairs said in its letter (dated May 26), “Proposal for the issue of Letter Rogatory/Mutual Legal Assistance has not been received from Odisha Government in the legal cell, IS-II Division, MHA  w.r.t. investigation relating to the murder of Ex-Health Minister of Odisha, Naba Das.”