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Kasauli Hotelier Shoots Woman Officer Heading SC-Ordered Demolition Drive, Killing Her

DIVYIA ASTHANA | 0
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| May 2 , 2018 , 11:16 IST

A 51-year-old woman official heading a demolition drive ordered by the Supreme Court against unauthorised structures in Himachal Pradesh's hill resort of Kasauli was chased and shot dead on Tuesday by the owner of a guest house after an altercation. The accused Vijay Thakur is absconding.

According to reports, Assistant Town Planner Shail Bala Sharma was killed by Narayani guest house owner Vijay Thakur who shot at least 3 bullets at her inside the establishment in Mandudhar on the Dharampur-Kasauli road. Sharma had been heading the team demolishing unauthorised structures in 13 hotels in Kasauli.

An eyewitness, Parwanoo Range Officer Shivender Pal Singh, speaking to the Indian Express, said that Thakur opened fire when Sharma and other officials entered the hotel to take stock of the demolition process.

“He fired two bullets inside the hotel. One of the PWD employees was injured. We immediately ran outside to save ourselves. He chased us and fired another bullet which hit the ATP, she fell down,” Singh said.

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While Sharma was declared dead on arrival at the Dharampur government hospital, the injured PWD employee Gulab Singh, who was clearing hotel rooms marked for demolition, is undergoing treatment in Chandigarh.  

Thakur is on the run and police have formed multiple teams to nab him, also announcing a reward of Rs 1 lakh for information leading to his arrest. As per officials, Thakur obtained an arms license in 2011 and had a revolver, although his mother and wife said they were unaware that he was armed.

Sharma hailed from Mandi and was married to National Research Centre for Mushroom (NRCM) director Dr B P Sharma. She leaves behind a 24-year-old son who recently completed his MBBS from Indira Gandhi Medical College in Shimla.

Himachal Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur said, “The culprit will be nabbed soon and action taken as per the law. Law and order will be maintained in the state at all cost and the orders of the Supreme Court would be followed in letter and spirit.”