Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur has admitted lapses in the demolition drive in Kasauli during which Assistant Town and Country Planner Shail Bala Sharma was shot dead by a hotelier.
“The government has taken all possible steps after the firing. The accused has been arrested, ex-gratia grant of Rs 5 lakh has been announced for the family of the officer and her family will get full salary as drawn by her for the remaining period of service,” Thakur said.
He added that a status report will be submitted in the Supreme Court on May 9.
The government has instituted an inquiry into the lapses to be conducted by the Divisional Commissioner of Shimla.
The Superintendent of Police, Solan, and Deputy Superintendent of Police, Parwanoo have been transferred and two station house officers concerned have been sent to police lines, the CM said.
Sharma was killed by Vijay Singh, the owner of Narayani Guest House, when she was leading a Supreme Court-mandated demolition drive against illegal structures in Kasauli on Tuesday.
Singh was later arrested from the Mathura-Vrindavan area.
The chief minister said that police should have seized all licensed weapons from people in the area before going ahead with the demolition drive.
Meanwhile, the Himachal Pradesh Police on Friday said that the weapon used to kill Sharma has been recovered. “The .32 bore revolver used in the crime by Vijay Singh was recovered,” Solan officiating Superintendent of Police Shiv Kumar told reporters.
He said that the accused had hidden his licensed pistol in the forest near his Narayani Guest House.
The chief minister has also assured that the government will implement the orders of the Supreme Court and the National Green Tribunal regarding demolition of illegal constructions and removal of encroachments in letter and spirit and that no laxity on this account will be allowed.
He said the government has also decided to confer the Himachal Gaurav Award on the officer posthumously.