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Odisha health minister shot at by cop in Jharsuguda dist, accused nabbed

Press Trust of India logo Press Trust of India 29-01-2023 PTI

Bhubaneswar, Jan 29 (PTI) Odisha's Health and Family Welfare minister Naba Kishore Das was shot at allegedly by an assistant sub-inspector of police in Jharsuguda district on Sunday, a senior officer said.


The incident took place in Brajrajnagar town around 1 pm when the minister, who was on his way to attend a programme in the district, had alighted from the car to greet people.

"Assistant Sub-inspector of Police (ASI) Gopal Das opened fire at the minister, who sustained bullet injuries," Brajrajnagar SDPO Gupteswar Bhoi told reporters.

The accused ASI was nabbed by locals, who then handed him over to the police, he said.

Condemning the incident, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said that the crime branch has been directed to take up the investigation of the case.

"I am shocked at the unfortunate incident of attack on honourable minister Naba Das. I strongly condemn the attack on him. I pray for his early recovery.

"Senior officers of crime branch have been asked to go to the spot," Patnaik said in a statement.

In a video footage that is in possession of PTI, Naba Kishore Das is seen bleeding from the chest with people trying to lift the injured minister, who seemed unconscious, and place him on the front seat of a car.

Initially, he was taken to the Jharsuguda district headquarters hospital, the SDPO said.

Arrangements were then made to airlift him to a Bhubaneswar hospital for "better treatment", he stated.

Deputy Commissioner of Police Prateek Singh said a green corridor has been set up in the state capital for ferrying the minister to the Bhubaneswar hospital.

"Police personnel have been deployed along the corridor to ensure his safe passage," Singh said.

Tension prevailed in Brajrajnagar in the wake of the incident, with supporters of the BJD minister questioning "security lapses".

Some of them claimed that a conspiracy was hatched to target him.

Bhoi said that the ASI was currently being interrogated, and more details will be available after a thorough probe.

The minister, a strongman in the mining hub of Jharsuguda, had switched over to the BJD from the Congress ahead of 2019 elections. He is known to have business interests in coal mining, transportation and hospitality sectors.

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