Kasauli, May 2: A town planner was shot dead and a Public Works Department (PWD) employee injured when a hotelier allegedly opened fire on them for leading a demolition drive in Kasauli, Himachal Pradesh. Shailbala Sharma died on the spot from gunshots when she was leading a Supreme Court-ordered drive to demolish illegal structures in 13 hotels in Solan district, said PTI. Also Read - UPSC Exam 2021: Supreme Court Dismisses Plea Of Last Attempt Civil Service Candidates
On April 17, the apex court had directed the state government to demolish illegal structures in hotels in Kasauli and Dharampur in Solan and the latter had formed four teams for the same. The court had given them a fortnight to raze illegal structures and deposit a fine of up to Rs 15 lakh each. On Tuesday, Assistant Town and Country Planner Shailbala was leading one such team and initially, Narayani Guest House owner Vijay Singh tried to intimidate the team. When that didn’t work, there was an altercation with Singh who allegedly fired three rounds at the team. PWD employee Gulab Singh was injured even as Shailbala fell down, dying on the spot. Singh managed to escape. Also Read - Mukesh Ambani's $3.4 Billion Deal With Future Group Stalled After Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Amazon Plea
A manhunt was on to catch Singh while Gulab had been admitted to PGI where his condition was said to be critical. Superintendent Police (Solan) Mohit Chawla said that checking on interstate barriers had been intensified. Himachal Pradesh Police spokesperson, superintendent of police (SP) Khushal Sharma said a case had been registered at Dharampur police station and a search was on, quoted ANI. The Himachal Pradesh police has also announced a cash reward of Rs 1 lakh to anyone who provides information on the absconding hotelier. Also Read - Supreme Court Asks RBI To Frame Regulations in 6 Months For Locker Facility Management in Banks
Meanwhile, the other teams continued the demolition drive. Reportedly, many hotel owners had removed the illegal structures on their premises on their own.