Ramakanta Biswas

One month has elapsed since Cabinet Minister Naba Kishore Das was shot dead in a broad daylight in Odisha, but the motive behind the high-profile murder still remained elusive.

Sacked ASI Gopal Krushna Das, who fired two rounds of bullets at the health minister from a close range at Gandhi Chhak of Brajarajnagar in Jharsuguda district on the fateful day of January 29, was nabbed soon after the crime.  

The Crime Branch of Odisha Police which has been entrusted with the investigation has taken the accused on remand thrice and also got his narco analysis and polygraph tests conducted. However, the probe agency seems to have miserably failed to establish the motive of the sensational murder.

While the question why Gopal Das killed Naba Kishore Das still remained unanswered, it triggered suspicion. The probe by the Crime Branch also came under scrutiny with Opposition BJP and Congress training guns at the Naveen Patnaik-led BJD government.

The Opposition BJP and Congress have raised Naba Das murder case and alleged deterioration of law and order situation in the ongoing budget session of the Odisha Legislative Assembly several times and even alleged that the Crime Branch is deliberately trying to conceal the motive for political reasons.

Amid the opposition uproar, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik broke his silence and presented a statement in the State Assembly over the murder case. 

Patnaik said the state government has decided to seek the help of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) of the United States of America for its expertise in behavioural analysis of the main accused Gopal Das.

He said he was shocked by the manner in which the case was being politicised by the Opposition parties.

Meanwhile, the residents of Brajarajnagar are also eagerly waiting for the answer as to why Gopal Das killed the minister.  

“I was at my home when my son told me about the shocking news of firing at Naba Das. As I rushed out of my home, I saw the minister was lying on the seat of his vehicle and some police personnel caught hold of Gopal Das,” said a local resident of Brajarajnagar.     

“The accused, Gopal Das, has been arrested and he will get the punishment for sure as per law. However, we are still in dark as to why Naba Das was murdered and what was the motive behind the crime,” he added.

“Naba Das was my classmate, we studied at GM College. When I heard about his visit, I was just walking towards the crowd when I saw those beating drums running here and there. I initially assumed that crackers were being burst, but later realised that it was actually firing,” said another resident.