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Himachal Pradesh: Assistant town planner shot dead by hotel owner during demolition drive

An assistant town planner was shot dead on Tuesday while she is executing a Supreme Court order for the demolition of the illegal property in Kasauli, Himachal Pradesh. Other officials were also seriously injured in the incident.

The shocking incident took place when Public Work Department (PWD) workers with the assistant town planner Shail bala reached at the Narayani Guest House at Mando Matkanda to follow the court’s order to demolish the construction of the Guest house owned by the culprit Vijay Singh aged 51 years.

As the officials started to follow the proceeding of the demolition, Vijay and his mother Narayani Devi (70) started arguing with them. When the team didn’t listen to both of them, Vijay fired three rounds leaving the Assistant planner dead and a PWD employee Gulab Singh injured.

However, realising the critical situation, Vijay immediately disappeared to a nearby forest. Shimla SP Khushal Sharma said, “While shail Bala was murdered, Gulab Singh, a PWD employee was injured”.

The demolition drive is directed by the Supreme Court to the Himachal Pradesh government on April 17 ordering demolition of all the unauthorised property of several hotels in Kasauli. A plea was later on submitted by the hoteliers against the order to National Green Tribunal which was rejected.

Among the illegal properties, Narayani Guest House was also booked for the construction of six-storey building instead of the approval for only three storeys and a parking floor.

The supreme Court bench comprising Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta stated the incident as extremely serious as the assistant planner is gone there to follow the court’s direction to seal unauthorised constructions.The court further said that, “We might stop passing any orders if you are going to kill people”.

The court questioned to the police team accompanied government officials during the demolition drive by saying that what they were doing when the hotel owner shot the woman.

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