Demolition drive: Town planner shot dead in Kasauli, Himachal Pradesh

Vijay Kumar, owner of Narayani Guest House near Dharampur, allegedly shot Sharma when her team arrived to demolish the illegal construction done by him.

Published: 02nd May 2018 04:34 AM  |   Last Updated: 02nd May 2018 11:20 AM   |  A+A-

Shail Bala Sharma (extreme right) just before she was shot during the demolition of illegal constructions at Kasuali on Tuesday | EXPRESS

Express News Service

CHANDIGARH: An assistant town and country planner Shail Bala Sharma, 51, was shot dead and a labourer was injured on Tuesday during a drive to demolish illegal constructions at Kasauli in Himachal Pradesh.

Vijay Kumar, owner of Narayani Guest House near Dharampur, allegedly shot Sharma when her team arrived to demolish the illegal construction done by him.

Kumar first got into a heated argument with Sharma and showed the team maps of the building to present his argument that there was no illegal construction on his property. He told them to leave the property but when Sharma’s team started the demolition he got angry and fired three bullets with his licensed pistol. While Sub-Divisional Official (SDO) Electricity Sanjya Negi had a narrow escape, two of the bullets pierced Sharma’s back. She was rushed to the Primary Health centre in Dharampur where she was declared brought dead.

A labourer, Gulab Singh, who was working with the Public Works Department, was also injured in the firing as he was hit by a bullet in his chest and abdomen and was rushed to the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) at Chandigarh. Kumar managed to flee despite the presence of five policemen.

Superintendent of Police, Solan, Mohit Chawla said, “A case of murder has been registered against Kumar at Dharampur police station. We have launched a manhunt to nab him.”

On condition of anonymity, an official said police is responsible for the protection of the town and country planning department staff going on a demolition drive, but they failed in their duty.

The demolition comes in the light of the April 17 order of the Supreme Court, in which hotel owners were given 15 days to demolish unauthorised construction and were told to deposit a fine of up to Rs 15 lakh each.

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