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Kasauli Asst Town Planner murder: Accused hotelier held from Mathura

Earlier on Thursday, the Supreme Court said that the “unfortunate death” of Shaila Bala was the result of “non-implementation of the law”.

Sanjeev Kumar | Shimla |

Hotelier Vijay Singh, who had allegedly shot dead Assistant Town Planner Shail Bala Sharma during a demolition drive in Kasauli on May 1, was on Thursday apprehended by a police team from Mathura in Uttar Pradesh.

“Our police teams were on his trail since the last two days. We arrested Singh from Mathura today evening and he is being brought to Solan,” Solan Superintendent of Police Mohit Chawla told The Statesman.

Police sources said the weapon used by him in the crime was, however, not recovered from him.

Solan police had formed several teams which were conducting raids in neighbouring states of Punjab, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh to nab the culprit.

Earlier, there were apprehensions that the accused might have fled to Punjab and searches were being conducted to trace the accused.

Singh had reportedly disappeared into the nearby forest after allegedly shooting Shail Bala and since then, the police teams were looking for him.

A cash reward of Rs 1 lakh was also announced by the Himachal Pradesh Police for any information leading to his arrest and the state government had also ordered an inquiry into the incident which would be conducted by Divisional Commissioner, Shimla.

The demolition drive against illegal constructions by 13 hotels and resorts continued on the third day on Thursday amid tight security as per the orders of Supreme Court, Chawla said.

The official, Shail Bala was cremated at her native Bari village under Baldwara tehsil in Mandi district with full state honours on Wednesday evening.

It is pertinent to mention here that Shail Bala, along with Solan SDM, police and district administration officials, had gone to demolish unauthorised portions of Narayani Guest House at Mandudhar on Dharampur-Kasauli road.

Also Read: Kasauli Town Planner murder: SC slams Himachal govt for inadequate security

Vijay Singh (51), who is working with Himachal Pradesh State Electricity Board, and has been suspended since, along with his mother Narayani Devi (70), entered into an argument with Shail Bala over the demolition of illegal portion.

As Shail Bala and other officials entered the premises for inspection after making announcements for vacating the guest house, an enraged Singh allegedly fired three shots from his pistol and fled from the spot.

Also Read: Death of officer in Kasauli due to non-implementation of law: Supreme Court

Two bullets hit Shail Bala, one in the jaw and another in the chest, killing her on the spot.  Another official, Gulab Singh, who is employed with Public Works Department, got injured in the incident.

The duo was rushed to Government Hospital Dharampur where Shail Bala was declared brought dead while Gulab Singh was referred to PGI, Chandigarh,  where he is undergoing treatment. His condition is stated to be serious but stable.