Bhubaneswar: Odisha Health Minister Naba Das, who was shot at in Brajarajnagar in the Jharsuguda district, succumbed to his bullet injuries in Bhubaneswar hospital on Sunday.
Expressing shock and distress over the demise, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Sunday said that Naba Das was an asset to both the Government and the party and his death is a great loss to Odisha.
In a statement, the Chief Minister said, “I am shocked and distressed over the very unfortunate demise of Minister Sri Naba Das. The doctors made every possible effort to save his life. But unfortunately, he could not recover,” the Chief Minister said.
“As a leader, he was instrumental in strengthening Biju Janata Dal. He was a grass root person and was loved and respected by all, cutting across parties and sections of people,” he said. “His death is a great loss to the State of Odisha,” the Chief Minister added.
The Chief Minister also directed the Crime Branch to take up the investigation into the matter, following which a team of Odisha Crime Branch headed by a senior police official proceeded to Brajarajnagar where state Health Minister Naba Das was shot at.
The Minister, who was said to be in a critical condition, was airlifted to the Apollo Hospital in Bhubaneswar where he breathed his last.
Das was shot at by one police personnel near Brajarajnagar in Jharsuguda district earlier today, following which he was critically injured.
On operating was found that a single bullet had entered and exited the body, injuring the heart and left lung and causing massive internal bleeding and injury, the officials said.
According to officials, the injuries were repaired, and steps were taken to improve the pumping of the heart. He was given urgent ICU care. But despite the best of efforts, he could not be revived and succumbed to his injuries.
The team led by Additional Director General Arun Bothra left for the crime spot to inquire into the firing incident on Minister Naba Das.
Earlier, an eyewitness, advocate Ram Mohan Rao said that the policeman fired at the Odisha minister from point-blank range.
“This incident occurred at about 12.30 afternoon at Gandhi chowk when Das was on his way to attend a programme. He sustained bullet injuries to his left chest, leaving him seriously injured,” Rao said.
“At a public grievance office opening, Naba Das was the chief guest. When he arrived, the crowd gathered to welcome him. Suddenly, a gunshot was heard. We saw police personnel running away after shooting from close range. Minister to be airlifted to Bhubaneswar,” he added.
The exact reason behind the firing is still unclear.
(With Agency Inputs)
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