Himachal Pradesh: Supreme Court takes suo motu cognisance after woman official shot dead in Kasauli

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New Delhi | Updated: May 2, 2018 4:48:11 PM

The ghastly incident of a woman official who headed a demolition drive in Himachal Pradesh hill station Kasauli being shot dead has caught the Supreme Court's attention. The apex court has taken suo motu cognisance of the incident where the government official was allegedly shot dead by a hotel owner during a sealing drive.

kasauli, kasauli official shot, official shot in himachal pradesh, kasauli incident, kasauli tragedy, government official killed in kasauli, himachal pradesh,supreme court, sc, india newsAssistant Town Planner Shail Bala Sharma supervises demolitions in Kasauli, Himachal Pradesh. (Source: Express Photo)

The ghastly incident of a woman official who headed a demolition drive in Himachal Pradesh hill station Kasauli being shot dead has caught the Supreme Court’s attention. The apex court has taken suo motu cognisance of the incident where the government official was allegedly shot dead by a hotel owner during a sealing drive. The apex court termed the incident extremely serious as the official had gone there to implement its orders. The top court said that the matter be placed before the CJI and requested him to list the matter for consideration tomorrow.

“We might stop passing any order if you are going to kill people,” the court said, on Wednesday morning, asking the Chief Justice of India to list the matter for consideration tomorrow.

Shail Bala Sharma, assistant town and country planner, was shot dead and a Public Works Department employee injured after a hotel owner allegedly opened fire at them on Tuesday while they were carrying out a Supreme Court-mandated drive to demolish illegal structures in 13 hotels in Solan district. While Shail Bala was killed on the spot, Gulab Singh was severely injured.

The incident reportedly took place when Shail Bala was heading a team following the April 17 Supreme Court directive to the state government, asking it to demolish unauthorised structures in 13 hotels in Kasauli and Dharampur areas of Solan. The apex court had constituted four teams for this purpose.

When Shail Bala reached the spot, she reportedly had an altercation with Vijay Kumar, the owner of the Narayani guest house who opened fire on the demolition team.

Kumar fired three rounds at the officials, killing Shail Bala on the spot and injuring Singh, who was undergoing treatment at PGI, Chandigarh, where his condition was stated to be critical, the police said. The accused fled from the spot and a manhunt was launched to nab him.

Meanwhile, Superintendent of Police (Solan) Mohit Chawla said a case was registered against the accused and checking at all interstate barriers was intensified. The Himachal Pradesh police also announced a reward of Rs 1 lakh for anyone who provides information about the absconding accused.

The other demolition teams successfully pulled down the unauthorised constructions and in some cases, hotel owners took the initiative and removed illegal structures on their own.

Shail Bala Sharma hailed from Mandi and was married to Dr B P Sharma, who is the director of the National Research Centre for Mushroom (NRCM) under the Indian Council of Agricultural Research, in Chambaghat, Solan. Their 24-year-old son had recently completed his MBBS from Indira Gandhi Medical College in Shimla.

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