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Attack on minister: CM orders immediate arrest of culprits

Reported by Santosh Jagdev
Bhubaneswar, Feb 22:
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Saturday ordered the immediate arrest of the assailant who fired three rounds on Law minister  Maheswar Mohanty.

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Patanik, accompanied by several of his cabinet colleagues, visited the minister at the Kalinga Hospital where he is being treated. Expressing grave concern over the murderous assault on the minister, he ordered the Puri SP to  arrest the culprits immediately.

Meanwhile, doctors at the hospital removed the bullet from the Law minister Maheswar Mohanty’s rib cage. The small size bullet, which landed in Mohanty’s seventh rib, had ‘just touched’ his lungs causing slight injury, said hospital sources.
The five member team of doctors took nearly an hour to remove the bullet from the minister’s rib cage. Mohanty was taken to the Operation Theatre at around 3.40 am today.

The team of doctors was led by Dr Abhaya Sutar, general surgeon and Dr Chandramouli Mitra, neurosurgeon.The other doctors in the team were Dr Sanatan Behera, orthopedic, Dr Jagdish Rath ICU specialist and Dr B Binakar cardiologist.

Mohanty is in his senses and his condition is stable, a doctor from the team which carried out the surgery on Mohanty said preferring anonymity.

Mohanty will be under observation at the ICU for the day and will be shifted to a cabin after his condition improves, said sources in the hospital. Had the bullet not got stuck in his rib cage and moved a little further inside the lungs, things would been really different, the sources added.

Hospital sources said Mohanty was taking rest after his wounds were dressed. His wounds are being dressed on a hourly basis, the sources said.

The hospital is expected to release a bulletin on the minister’s condition this afternoon.
Bhubaneswar MP Prasanna Patsani, who met the minister this morning, said his condition had improved considerably after the bullet was removed.

“He is now able to talk, though only faintly. It was a providential escape for him,” Patsani said about his long time party colleague.

Meanwhile, one person has been detained and is being questioned in connection with the murderous assault on the Minister, our Puri bureau adds.
Puri SP office sources said the detained person has been identified as Shibuni Bhoi.

Several other youths have been also detained at different police stations of Puri. DGP Prakash Mishra is on his way to Puri while IG RP Koche reached the temple tpwn earlier today to oversee the investigation.

A special team from the State Police headquarters has also reached Puri in the wee hours today to probe different angles.

Shibuni is one of the accused in the murder of a businessman in Puri who was a close associate of the minister.However, no one has been arrested yet by the police, sources in the district police headquarters said.