A woman government officer, who was supervising a demolition drive ordered by the Supreme Court against illegal structure across hill resorts in Himachal Pradesh, was shot on Tuesday by the owner of a guesthouse in Kasauli.
The 51-year-old Assistant Town Planner Shail Bala Sharma was killed by Narayani guest house owner Vijay Thakur following an altercation during the demolition drive.
At around 2:30 PM, Thakur fired at least three bullets at Sharma while she was approaching the gate of his guest house. Apart from Sharma, a labourer Gulab Singh was also hit by the bullet.
After killing Sharma, the culprit guest owner fled from the spot. The police has declared a reward of Rs 1 Lakh for anyone who gives information about him.
According to a police officer, the incident took place on Tuesday afternoon when a demolition team, comprising the deceased woman officer and led by Town and Country Planner Leela Shama reached the site and asked the owner of the guest house to cooperate.
An argument arose over how much part of the illegally constructed building will be demolished. The matter escalated further and Thakur fired bullets at the team, killing Sharma on the spot.
Supreme Court takes suo motu cognisance of the matter
Taking suo motu cognisance of the matter, the Supreme Court said that it will stop passing any order if such incidents arise.
A bench comprising Justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta termed the incident as "extremely serious" and noted that government officials had gone there to comply with the court’s direction to seal unauthorised constructions.
“The govt official had gone there to implement apex court's orders. We might stop passing any order if you are going to kill people,” PTI quoted the SC as saying.