Odisha health minister, who was shot at by cop, dies in hospital

An undated photo of Odisha Health Minister Naba Kishore Das; an undated photo of ASI Gopal Das who allegedly shot the minister in Jharsuguda. Photo: PTI

Bhubaneswar: Odisha's Health and Family Welfare Minister Naba Kishore Das died after battling bullet injuries for several hours after being shot by a policeman, Apollo Hospital authorities said.

A team of doctors operated on him after he was airlifted from Jharsugada to Bhubaneshwar, hospital officials said.

Das, who was 60 years old, was shot through the heart at Brajrajnagar town around 1 pm when the minister was on his way to attend a programme in the district.

On operating, it 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 injuries were treated and measures were taken to improve the pumping of the heart. He was given urgent ICU care. But, despite best of efforts, he could not be revived and succumbed to his injuries,” the hospital said in a statement.

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, who was close to Das, said "I am shocked and distressed over the very unfortunate demise of Minister Naba Kishore Das."

Patnaik described Das as a "grassroots person" and said he was "loved and respected by all, cutting across parties and sections of people."

Das was shot by Assistant Sub-inspector of Police (ASI) Gopal Das, who is believed to be suffering from a mental illness.

Minister Naba Das was injured in firing at Brajarajnagar area of Jharsuguda district at around 12.30 pm on Sunday. Photo: Twitter/@mudulikulamani

In video footage 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.

Das was airlifted to Bhubaneswar in an air ambulance and admitted to Apollo Hospital, Bhubaneswar.

Deputy Commissioner of Police, Bhubaneswar, Prateek Singh said a green corridor was set up in the state capital for ferrying the minister to the hospital from the airport.

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

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