Naba Kishore Das, a senior Biju Janata Dal leader and health minister of Odisha, died after having been shot at by a police officer on Sunday. The incident took place when Kishore Das, 60, was traveling to a programme to Brajrajnagar town in Odisha’s Jharsuguda and Assistant Sub-inspector of Police (ASI) Gopal Das opened fire at the minister in the presence of police personnel and the minister’s supporters.
In a statement, Patnaik, who was believed to be close to Das, said he was shocked and distressed. “The doctors made every possible effort to save his life. But unfortunately, he could not recover. He has successfully carried out many initiatives in the health department for the benefit of people,” Patnaik said.
Naba Kishore Das hailed from Sambalpur district and studied English and Law from Sambalpur University. After completing his education, he moved to the Jharsuguda district, known as the industrial belt of Odisha. became the vice president of Odisha NSUI and Odisha Youth Congress. He started his businesses of mining and transportation.
In 2004, he entered the political arena from the Congress party and contested the Jharsuguda Assembly seat. He, however, lost that election to Biju Janata Dal’s Kishore Mohanty. He had switched over to the BJD from the Congress ahead of 2019 elections. He is known to have business interests in coal mining, transportation and hospitality sectors.
His 2021 declaration showed that he had immovable and movable assets worth Rs 34 crore. Among his assets were 145 cars, 80 belonging to him and 65 were his wife’s valued at Rs 15 crore. The 60-year-old was the second richest minister in the state. He also listed several properties in New Delhi, Kolkata, Bhubaneswar, Jharsuguda, and Rairakhol in Odisha worth over Rs 2.28 crore. According to an Indian Express report, he owned a revolver, a double-barrel gun and a rifle.
When coronavirus struck the country in 2020, he was at the forefront of the state’s battle against the virus and also implementing the state’s Biju Swasthya Kalyan Yojana (BSKY), instead of the Centre’s Ayushman Bharat scheme.
The health minister is survived by wife Minati Das and a son and a daughter.