The police officer who shot the Odisha minister was bipolar, was under treatment of psychiatrist
Sub-inspector Gopalkrushna Das, who allegedly shot dead Odisha Health Minister Naba Kishore Das here and was being treated by a psychiatrist for bipolar disorder.
Despite his previous mental disorder, Das was somehow issued with a service revolver and appointed in charge of the Brajrajnagar police station where he shot Das. Dr. Chandra Sekhar Tripathy, head of the department of psychiatry at Berhampur's MKCG Medical College and Hospital, told reporters that Das had bipolar disorder.
"Das first visited my clinic about eight to 10 years ago. He got angry very easily and was treated for it," said Tripathy. "I'm not sure if he took the medicine regularly. If you don't take the medicine regularly, the disease will come back. It's been a year since he last visited me," said the doctor.
Bipolar disorder is a mental health disorder that experts say causes extreme mood swings from hypermania to depression. However, the condition can be managed with treatment, including counseling. Das lived in Jaleswarkhand village in Ganjam district.
He started his police career as a constable in Berhampur and was later transferred to Jharsuguda district 12 years ago. Jharsugda SDPO Gupteswar Bhoi said the ASI was issued an approved pistol after he was posted as the in-charge of Gandhi Chhak police outpost in Brajrajnagar district. Das's wife, Jayanti, also confirmed that her husband was taking medication for his mental illness. "Since he is about 400 kilometers away from us, it is not possible to say whether he was taking medication regularly," he said.
Official sources said that Das was sent on Sunday to ensure law and order during the visit of Minister Naba Das. Before opening fire on the minister, Das kept his motorcycle almost 50 meters away from where he attacked Das.
He reportedly opened fire when the minister got out of his car to attend a local program and was mobbed by his supporters. Although he fired two shots at the minister, only one hit the target. Soon after the incident, Das tried to flee the spot by firing in the air but was arrested, police said. "He was immediately overpowered and taken into custody for questioning," said SDPO Bhoi.
But the reason why the ASI opened fire on the minister is yet to be ascertained, he said. Meanwhile, the Odisha police's crime branch has taken over the case related to the health minister's murder, officials said. A seven-member special investigation team comprising a cyber expert, ballistics expert and crime branch officials has been formed, a senior CB official said, adding that the team will be headed by Deputy Superintendent of Police Ramesh Ch Dora. He, along with a ballistics expert, reached Jharsuguda by helicopter to begin the investigation. Arun Bothara IPS, ADGP, CID-CB also personally accompanied them to check and trace the probe. The CID Crime Branch has registered a case under Section 307 of the IPC read with Section 27 of the Arms Act, the official said.