Odisha Health Minister Naba Das
Odisha Health Minister Naba Das being taken for treatment after sustaining injuries allegedly after being shot by a policeman near Brajarajnagar in the Jharsuguda district of Odisha, on Sunday, January 29, 2023. Image Credit: ANI

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, officials said.

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.

A team of doctors led by Dr Debashish Nayak immediately attended to and operated on him.

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 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.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik expressed deep shock and distress over the unfortunate death of Minister Naba Das.

"He was an asset for both the Govt and the party. His death is a great loss to the State of Odisha," Odisha CMO said.

Earlier, the Chief Minister reached the hospital and enquired about the health of the minister who was attended by the specialists.

Patnaik condemned the attack on the minister.

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 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 a 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," he added.

The exact reason behind the firing is still unclear.