The Himachal Pradesh Police said today that the weapon used to kill assistant town planner Shail Bala Sharma here had been recovered. “The .32 bore revolver used in the crime by Vijay Singh was recovered today,” Solan officiating Superintendent of Police (SP) Shiv Kumar told reporters. He said that the accused had hidden his licensed pistol in the forest area near his Narayani guest house. Sharma was killed by the hotelier when she was leading a Supreme Court-mandated demolition drive against illegal structures on Tuesday. Singh was arrested from the Mathura-Vrindavan area yesterday.
The weapon was recovered after the accused was taken to the scene of crime, the police officer said. “He (the accused) came back to the area between 1 AM and 2 AM (on Tuesday) to conceal the weapon, hours after shooting the officer,” he said. The accused had managed to return to the area hours after shooting the officer to conceal the weapon close to the guest house, despite a combing operation being carried out by the police.
To a question, the police officer said that the accused had changed his statements several times since his arrest. “Where he went after the crime and hid himself need to be verified,” he added. He said that the accused took phones from unknown people to call his relatives, on the basis of which his location was traced to Mathura.
He said that the accused claimed that he had been taking medication for depression for the past three months. Police rejected his mother’s reported claim that his son had sent an SMS to one of his relatives expressing willingness to surrender. “If this is the case, why would he change his look and appearance,” the SP added. Asked to comment on reports that the accused offered bribe to the slain officer before killing her, the SP said nothing of this sort came up during investigations. “So far it has not come to light that the accused has any criminal record,” he said.