Kasauli town planner shot dead while demolishing illegal constructions
In a troubling incident, an assistant town planner of Solan, Himachal Pradesh, was shot dead as she tried to demolish illegal constructions in accordance with Supreme Court (SC) orders. A team led by Shail Bala Sharma had reached the premises of a Kasauli guesthouse to raze unauthorized constructions yesterday afternoon. In response, hotelier Vijay Singh, the owner, opened fire. He is now absconding.
Singh had opened fire randomly, stray bullet hit Sharma
The incident happened when four teams reached Narayani Guest House. Singh asked them to vacate his premises, but when they didn't listen, he started shooting. A stray bullet hit Sharma and she died on the spot. A PWD worker, Gulab Singh, was also injured. SDO Electricity Sanjya Negi had a narrow escape. Singh, an electricity board employee, managed to flee despite five cops being present.
TCP blames police for the mishap
Sharma had been posted as assistant town planner barely six months ago. Currently, she was on deputation with the town and country planning (TCP) department from Baddi Brotiwala Nalagarh Development Authority. A TCP officer blamed police. "The responsibility of protecting the department staff going on such duty is that of police. They have failed to protect our officer and haven't arrested Singh."
Sharma was working on SC's April order
Cops have meanwhile announced a reward of Rs. 1L for information on Singh. A case has been registered. Earlier this month, the SC ordered hoteliers to demolish illegal construction on their premises within 15 days and pay fines of up to Rs. 15L.