Kasauli murderer on-the-run crossed states, changed looks, then slipped-up
After shooting dead an assistant town planner in full public view for discharging her duties, Vijay Singh, a Kasauli resident, fled. He trekked through forests, crossed over to another state, switched off his phone, shaved his moustache and trimmed his hair, all in a bid to evade arrest. But a simple mistake led police to him while he was sitting near a Mathura temple.
On May 1, Shail Bala Sharma led a team to the Narayani Guest House in Kasauli to raze unauthorized constructions. Singh, whose mother Narayani owns the guesthouse, was present at the site. He asked the officials to vacate his premises, but they didn't listen. Singh then opened fired. A stray bullet hit Sharma and she died on the spot. A worker was also injured.
According to locals, immediately after the crime, Singh ran away, reached a nearby hill, and used a forest trail through the hill to reach the road to Sanawar 6km away. In the meantime, he called a friend and asked for a vehicle to be arranged for him, and soon afterwards, switched off his mobile. He then boarded a Rohru-Chandigarh bus from the Shimla-Kalka highway.
Singh was caught on CCTV cameras at Chandimandir, sitting in the bus. When police finally reached the spot looking for him, the bus conductor told them he had deboarded at Tribune Chowk. He was enquiring about a bus to Delhi, the conductor added. Himachal Police then contacted their Delhi counterparts, but they found he kept moving from one place to another to escape arrest.
The breakthrough came when Singh made a call from his phone. Police ran the number through their system and traced him to a Mathura refinery. The joint teams reached the spot and after a quick search, found him sitting near a temple. He is now being brought to Solan to be produced in court. Police will then interrogate him and recover the murder weapon.