CHANDIGARH: A 51-year old lady assistant town and country planner Shail Bala Sharma was shot dead today during demolition drive at Kasauli in Himachal Pradesh to demolish illegal construction on recent orders of Supreme Court.
An assistant town and country planner Shail Bala Sharma was shot dead during the demolition drive in Kasauli by one Vijay Kumar, owner of Narayani Guest House near Dharampur when her team reached Kumar’s premises to demolish illegal construction.
As the team lead by her entered the guest house Kumar argued with them with the maps of the building that there was nothing illegal and then suddenly he told them to leave his property but they started the demolition.
Vijay got angry and fired three bullets with his licensed pistol and two of them hit Bala on her back, she was rushed to Primary Health centre in Dharampur where she was declared brought dead.
While a labourer, Gulab Singh, working with the Public Works Department (PWD) department was injured as he was hit by a bullet in his chest and abdomen and was rushed to Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) at Chandigarh.
While Sub Divisional Official (SDO) Electricity Sanjya Negi had a narrow escape. Kumar managed to flee despite the presence of five policemen.
Superintendent of Police of Solan, Mohit Chawla said, “A case of murder has been registered against Kumar at Dharampur police station. We have launched a man hunt to nab the accused. Bala succumbed to her bullet injuries at Primary Health centre in Dharampur where she was rushed as she had two bullet wounds.”
On conditions of anonymity an official said that the protection of the town and country planning department staff going on such duty is that of the police. But the police failed to protect our officer.
Four teams led by town and country planning officers reached Kasauli on Tuesday to raze unauthorised construction of 13 hotels and resorts that were found in violation of TCP norms.
The demolition drive comes in the light of the April 17 orders of Supreme Court. In which the hotel owners were given fifteen days to demolish unauthorised construction and were told to deposit a fine of up to Rs 15 lakh each.
The hotels, resorts and guest houses owners of Kasauli had approached the apex court challenging the National Green Tribunal (NGT) order to demolish or close down establishments extended without approval.
Meanwhile, some hoteliers in Kasauli have begun pulling down illegal structures.