Odisha Minister assassination: Oppn questions ‘silence’ of CM, DGP

Though a cabinet minister was killed, the DGP and the Home secretary neither visited the spot in Jharsuguda nor spoke a word on the heinous murder, the state BJP president said.

Bhubaneswar: Condemning the murder of Odisha Health minister Naba Das by a cop, Opposition BJP and Congress questioned the “silence” of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and DGP Sunil Bansal on issue.

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Rejecting the crime branch probe ordered by the Chief Minister, the BJP demanded a CBI probe in the matter while the Congress demanded a SIT probe under the supervision of Orissa High Court.

Speaking to media persons, Odisha BJP president Samir Mohanty said, “Minister Das was not just a politician, he was an influential and powerful cabinet minister in the state. If such a personality is killed in broad daylight, one can easily assume the condition of a common man in the state.”

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“It is unfortunate that Naveen Babu, who has been in charge of the Home department for the last 23 years, has remained silent on the sensitive issue,” he added.

Though a cabinet minister was killed, the DGP and the Home secretary neither visited the spot in Jharsuguda nor spoke a word on the heinous murder, the state BJP president said.

He asserted that people will not accept it that the state police is investigating the case in which a cop has killed the minister. “By ordering a crime branch investigation, the state government has already decided what to do in this case. The crime branch has taken over a lot of cases in the past. But the findings are not encouraging,” Mohanty said.

To ensure proper instigation of the murder case, the BJP leader demanded a CBI probe into the case.

Leader of Opposition in Odisha Assembly Jayanarayan Mishra (BJP) said, “We are not going to accept the story of the Odisha government that the accused police ASI Gopal Das was mentally unsound. A plot was created to kill the minister.”

Mishra also questioned “why the DGP is silent on this case”.

“As per the information available with us, the minister died on the spot. What was the necessity to airlift him from Jharsuguda to Bhubaneswar. Whether the Jharsuguda hospital authority had certified that Das was fit to airlift for further treatment?,” Mishra asked.

Claiming that the Crime Branch probe “cannot reveal the truth”, he demanded a CBI investigation into the incident.

Alleging there is a deep-rooted conspiracy behind the killing of the minister, Congress spokesperson Sudarshan Das demanded a probe by a SIT under the supervision of a sitting judge of the Orissa High Court.

“Though 48 hours passed to the incident, no action has been taken against any official, who is responsible for it,” Das said.

“There was a total failure of intelligence. But no action was taken till now. Why is the DGP and Home Minister (Chief Minister) not speaking up,” he asked.

Alleging that a conspiracy is being made “to suppress the truth behind the crime”, the Congress leader said that the Chief Minister should leave his Home portfolio on moral ground.

Reacting to the allegations made by the Opposition, senior BJD lawmaker Debi Prasad Mishra said, “As questions will be raised if the police will investigate the case in which a cop is the accused, a crime branch probe was ordered. To ensure transparency, the government has requested the Orissa high court to monitor the investigation by a sitting/retired judge.”

On the demand for CBI and SIT probe, Mishra said, “Let’s wait till the findings of the crime branch investigation has come up.”

The minister was shot dead by police ASI Gopal Krushna Das on January 29. The police ASI fired a single round of bullet from his service revolver at the minister’s chest. The ASI was arrested and has been sent to judicial custody.

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