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She Refused to Settle: Vijay Thakur, Hotelier Who Shot HP Officer

Accused Vijay Thakur was arrested by the Solan police from Mathura, Uttar Pradesh.

Updated
India
4 min read
Vijay Thakur, the man accused of a 51-year-old Shaila Bala in Kasauli was nabbed in Mathura district, Uttar Pradesh.
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Vijay Thakur, the man accused of killing a 51-year-old Assistant Town Planner during a demolition drive in Himachal Pradesh's Kasauli, was arrested by Solan police from Mathura, Uttar Pradesh, on Thursday, 3 May, The Indian Express reported. The accused had allegedly been on the run since the murder.

Additional Superintendent of Police, Solan, Shiv Kumar, who headed the SIT formed to investigate the case, told IE that the accused was being brought to Solan for investigation. He will be produced before the court on Friday, 4 May.

“The accused, Vijay Singh, was arrested from Mathura-Vrindavan area this evening. It was a joint effort of the Himachal Pradesh Police and a Delhi Police special team,” Solan SP Mohit Chawla told PTI.

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Shaila Bala Sharma was allegedly shot dead in Kasauli on 1 May by Kumar while she was carrying out a Supreme Court-mandated drive to demolish illegal structures in 13 hotels. Gulab Singh, a Public Works Department employee, was also injured when Kumar, a hotel owner, allegedly opened fire.

The Himachal Police had also announced a reward of Rs 1 lakh to anyone who could provide information about the accused hotelier. The accused had also sent a text message saying he was going to surrender to the police, IE reported.

According to NDTV, the hotelier said that even though he had pleaded with Sharma, with his mother even touching her feet to spare his building, "she refused to settle" and "was behaving like an ideal officer.”

SC Raps HP Govt After Official Shot Dead

The Supreme Court on Wednesday, 2 May, first took suo moto cognisance of the killing of the officer, who was monitoring court-order hotel demolition drive in Kasuali. Earlier on Thursday, the apex court pulled up the state government for allowing relentless illegal construction in the state.

You (state government) allow illegal construction to take place and then when a person puts all his money into this construction, he becomes desperate, and such killing takes place.
Supreme Court 

The apex court rapped the state government for not providing adequate security to the official. Terming it a “serious issue,” the apex court said it might stop passing orders if it was going to kill people, reported ANI. "It's a brazen act of defiance of court order,” the SC said.

Earlier, Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jairam Thakur had said his government will submit a status report in the apex court on 3 May and that a divisional commissioner will investigate into the matter.

According to Business Standard, he had also said: “The law and order will be maintained at all costs in the state.”

The mortal remains of the deceased were handed over to the family members in Shimla, reported ANI.

She Refused to Settle: Vijay Thakur, Hotelier Who Shot HP Officer
(Photo: ANI)
She Refused to Settle: Vijay Thakur, Hotelier Who Shot HP Officer
(Photo: ANI)

The mother of the hotelier told Hindustan Times that she was worried for her son but wanted him to surrender.

I know he has done wrong and it should not have happened but I fear that he may kill himself. I am still shocked. How could he do so? He loves his children so much. The day before yesterday, he (Vijay) was planning to go to St Mary School where his three children study.
73-year-old Narayani Devi told Hindustan Times

Devi also told ANI that his son had been disturbed since many days.

I didn’t see nor do I know who killed her. We did everything what the authorities asked us to do.
Mother of the accused to ANI
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Shootout Triggered After SC Directive

The Supreme Court had, on 17 April, directed the state government to demolish unauthorised structures in 13 hotels in Kasauli and Dharampur areas of Solan, and four teams were constituted for this purpose.

The deceased was heading one team and hotel owners allegedly attempted to intimidate it to stop the demolition drive, officials told PTI.

An altercation ensued and Kumar fired three rounds at the officials, killing Sharma on the spot and injuring Singh, who is undergoing treatment at PGI, Chandigarh, where his condition is stated to be critical.

The accused fled from the scene soon after and a manhunt was reportedly launched to nab him.

Superintendant of Police (Solan) Mohit Chawla said a case was registered against the accused and checking at all interstate barriers was intensified.

Meanwhile, amid adequate security, the demolition teams continued to pull down unauthorised constructions, and in some cases, hotel owners took the initiative and removed illegal structures on their own.

(With inputs from PTI, ANI, The Indian Express )

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