Arrested assistant sub-inspector Gopal Krushna Das, who has since been dismissed from service, would allegedly wait in the vicinity of Naba Das’s residence at Sarbahal in Jharsuguda and enquire from people in the neighbourhood if the minister was inside or travelling. “As it turned out, the minister wasn’t home on each of these five occasions. Gopal was armed with his loaded service revolver every time,” a crime branch officer said.
Two days before the minister visited Brajarajnagar for an event, the ASI came to know about his itinerary and planned the assault, the police said. Based on the ASI’s interrogation, investigators have surmised that he had a definite plan and was ready to bide his time before executing it. The revelation comes a day after the police said Gopal’s attack on the minister was an act of revenge triggered by the latter refusing to entertain his request to give a relative of his a job. The police administration also claimed to have no knowledge of the ASI’s mental health until his family declared after the incident that he was on medication for bipolar disorder.
“Besides seeking a job for a close relative, Gopal had approached the minister at his residence around three months ago for his own transfer to a police station near Berhampur, his hometown. He felt insulted at Naba Das’s allegedly cold response,” a police officer said.
The ASI had been assigned to clear traffic during the minister’s visit to inaugurate two newly built government offices in the area, but he exceeded his brief and reached the venue of the event to fire at him. One of the bullets from Gopal’s service weapon punctured his heart and left lung.
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