Bhubaneswar: Following the untimely demise of Naba Kishore Das, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik allocated the Health and Family Welfare portfolio to Cabinet Minister Niranjan Pujari.
The Chief Minister has given the portfolio to Pujari after getting approval from Governor Ganeshi Lal. At present, Pujari is holding Finance and Parliamentary Affairs Departments.
Health Minister Das was killed by a police ASI. The police official fired a single round of bullet from his official revolver aiming at the chest of Das. Though he was airlifted to Bhubaneswar for treatment, doctors failed to revive him.
During the operation, the doctors found that a single bullet had entered and exited the body, injuring the heart and left lung and causing massive internal bleeding and injury.
Meanwhile, Governor Ganeshi Lal and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik paid their tributes to the deceased Minister at the latter’s official residence here.
Assembly Speaker, several Ministers, MLAs and leaders from all political parties paid last respect to the mortal remains of Das here at Vidhan Sabha, Das’s official residence, BJD party office, Jharsuguda Airport and his native place in Jharsuguda.
The State Government on Sunday evening had announced three-day mourning across Odisha as a mark of respect to the departed Minister. There will be no official entertainment for three days from January 29-31 throughout the State, an order issued by the Home department said.
“It has been decided by the Government of Odisha that as a mark of respect, state honour would be accorded to the departed dignitary. The national flag will be flown at half-mast on the day of death in the State Capital and on the day of funeral at the place where it takes place,” it said.
On the other hand, the Crime Branch has started investigation into the high-profile murder case following registration of a case by Brajarajnagar police station IIC.
In the FIR, IIC Pradyumna Swain said the ASI Gopal Krushna Das, who was deployed for traffic clearance, came close to the vehicle of the Minister and opened fire from his service pistol from a very close range aiming at him with a clear intention to kill him.
The Brajarajnagar IIC along with Rampur Police Outpost constable KC Pradhan caught hold of the assailant. However, the accused ASI Gopal Krushna Das fired two more rounds of bullets from his 9 mm pistol during the tussle.
Crime Branch ADG Arun Bothra started interrogating ASI Gopal Das at Reserve Line in Sundargarh. Northern range IG Deepak Kumar is also present there.