Odisha minister murder case: Munda demands probe by an independent agency

The Tribal Affairs Minister also blamed the Odisha government for non-inclusion of 169 communities into Odisha ST List.

Bhubaneswar: Senior BJP leader and Union Tribal Affairs Minister Arjun Munda on Saturday demanded investigation by an independent agency into the brutal murder of Odisha minister Naba Kishore Das.

Speaking to media persons here, Munda said the murder of the minister is a major concern for the law and order situation of the state. “If such an incident happens to a minister, then what would be the condition of the common people in the state?” he asked.

If such a situation arises in between police and a minister, whom will the common people trust? Munda further asked.

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Therefore, the case should be investigated by an independent agency so that truth can come out, he demanded.

The Tribal Affairs Minister also blamed the Odisha government for non-inclusion of 169 communities into Odisha ST List.

“It is not a political issue. It is a constitutional matter. It cannot be resolved by making political statements,” he said.

The state government has not submitted a concrete proposal for inclusion of the communities in the ST list, Munda said.

As per process, he said, proper anthropological research is needed to be done about the communities. After examining those, the Centre can include the genuine tribals in the list.

“In the 120 cases, there is no document, no research is done. If we will take those into consideration after receiving just a piece of paper, the entire India will tell us to make them tribals,” the Minister said.

Munda is here to inform the people about the programmes and welfare measures taken by the Modi government in the Union Budget 2023-24.

Meanwhile, the state crime branch, which is investigating the minister’s murder case, has got another four-day remand of accused police ASI Gopal Krushna Das (now dismissed).

Crime branch ADG Arun Bothra briefed justice J.P Das about the status of investigation. Justice Das, a retired judge of Orissa High Court has been appointed to monitor the high-profile case.

Das said he was briefed about the status of investigation in the case and overall, it is going in the right direction. However, he is yet to see the documents. Das also informed that he will soon visit the crime spot at Brajarajnagar in Jharsuguda district.

The investigation in the sensational murder case is on the right track, justice Das reportedly said after crime branch ADG Arun Bothra met him at his house in Cuttack and briefed him on the progress in the probe.

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