KASAULI/DHARAMPUR: Vijay Singh, the owner of a Kasauli guesthouse who shot dead a government official leading a Supreme Court ordered demolition drive in the Himachal Pradesh town three days ago, was arrested from Mathura in Uttar Pradesh on Thursday evening.
Solan district SP Mohit Chawla said Singh was nabbed from a temple in Mathura. “He was earlier located near Mathura refinery. He will be produced before a court within 24 hours,” Chawla said. “Singh had bought a new set of clothes. He had shaved off his moustache and trimmed his hair to conceal his identity. He had also switched off his mobile phone so that he could not be tracked.”
Singh, 54, had been on the run since Tuesday after murdering assistant town and country planner Shail Bala Sharma, 51, who was supervising the demolition of illegal construction at hotels, resorts and guesthouses in Kausali and Dharampur in Solan district.
Rapped by the Supreme Court over the “brazen act”, the state government, in a late evening development on Thursday, transferred Chawla and Parwanoo DSP Ramesh Sharma to police headquarters at Shimla. The top court had on Wednesday questioned how the policemen accompanying the demolition team allowed the assailant to escape after killing Sharma.
Additional SP Shiv Kumar, who was heading the special team formed to track down the accused, will replace Chawla while Ajay Rana is the new DSP of Parwanoo.
Earlier, Singh mother’s Narayani Devi told Express that she wanted her son to surrender. “I know what he had done is not right. It should not have happened at all. Now, I fear he might kill himself or someone else,” she said. The guesthouse that Singh was running was in his mother’s name.
The 73-year-old blamed government authorities for the entire situation. “We constructed this house in 2000 and later converted it into a guesthouse. At that time, the town and country planning department did not object. Now they are saying it’s illegal. No one pleaded our case properly in the Supreme Court,” she said.