Naba Kishore Das murder case | Assailant developed personal grudge, anguish against Minister, says Odisha Police

An undated photo of ASI Gopal Das who allegedly shot Odisha Health Minister Naba Kishore Das in Jharsuguda on January 29, 2023
| Photo Credit: PTI

Gopal Krishna Das, the former police officer who had gunned down Odisha Minister Naba Kishore Das in broad daylight on January 29, committed the crime as he felt threatened by the Minister and his supporters and feared for his life, said Crime Branch of Odisha police after concluding its investigation on Friday.

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The Crime Branch submitted a 543-page preliminary charge-sheet at Sub Divisional Judicial Magistrate, Jharsuguda, 118 days after the planned murder.

On January 29, 2023, former Health and Family Welfare Minister Naba Kishore Das was shot dead by the accused at Gandhi Chhak in Brajarajnagar. The murder of the influential minister had then evoked huge public uproar. Many assumptions about the motive behind the murder had emerged.

“The investigation has established that the accused Gopal Krishan Das committed the crime in his senses and in a pre-planned manner,” the investigating agency said, dismissing the narrative that the accused police officer was suffering from bipolar disorder.

File picture of former Odisha Minister Naba Kishore Das

File picture of former Odisha Minister Naba Kishore Das

“His mental condition was found stable and normal. After evaluation of all the evidences — oral, documentary, medico legal, cyber forensic and ballistic opinion — it became clear that the accused Gopal Krishna Das had developed personal grudge and anguish against deceased minister Naba Kishore Das,” it said.

“He (Gopal Das) felt threatened from Das (Minister) his supporters and feared for his life. Gradually he made up his mind to commit his murder,” said the Crime Branch.

The agency has submitted chargesheet under Section 307 and 302 IPC and under Section 27 (11 Arms Act) against the accused.

Extensive investigation

According to Crime Branch, during the course of investigation, as many as 10 investigating teams were formed and deputed to Jharsuguda, Bhubaneswar, Berhampur and other places even beyond the State to probe into different possible angles of the case. As many as 89 witnesses were examined while a large number of exhibits including firearm, live cartridges, empty case of cartridges, hand-wash of the accused were seized.

Claiming that the investigation was conducted in a highly professional manner and many experts from outside the State were roped in to assist the investigating teams to prove the crime in a scientific manner, the Crime Branch said investigating officers used latest gadgets and scientific tools to establish the culpability of the accused. Faro camera for spot recording, Layered Voice Analysis (LVA) test, polygraph test and Narco test to ascertain the veracity of the statements made by the accused were used.

A special medical board was constituted by the Director of Medical Education and Training which conducted their examination and opined that they had not found active psychopathology in accused Gopal Krishan Das.  During investigation some family members of the accused had claimed that Gopal Krishna Das suffered from bipolar disorder long ago.

“Further from locals and colleagues, it was also ascertained that his mental condition was quite normal and there was no abnormality.  Moreover, he was cooperative in the investigation and replying to all the questions asked in cogent manner,” elaborated Crime Branch on the issue of mental illness of the accused.

Deepali Das, daughter of the deceased minister, had won the Jharsuguda by-poll which was conducted after murder.

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