Simla: A hotel owner who shot dead a government official supervising the demolition of illegal structures at his guest house in Himachal Pradesh’s Kasauli was arrested last evening. The officer, Shail Bala, refused to back down and accept bribe, Vijay Singh has reportedly told the police.
Sources say Vijay Singh says he pleaded with Shail Bala, the assistant town planner of Kasauli, to spare his building but “she refused to settle” and “was behaving like an ideal officer”.
He also resented that his mother “touched the officer’s feet” and begged, but she didn’t budge, saying she had orders from the Supreme Court.
Shail Bala, 51, was chased and shot dead by Vijay Singh, and another officer was wounded.
The officer died instantly. After killing her, Vijay Singh ran away and hid in the jungle for hours, the police say. He has told them that he returned home at night, picked up his ATM and Aadhaar cards and headed to Delhi by bus.
After a two-day hunt, the police caught up with him at Mathura.
The Supreme Court sharply reprimanded the state government for failing to protect the woman officer. Shail Bala “wasn’t killed because of implementation of the Supreme Court order, but because of non-implementation of the law,” the court said on Thursday. Calling the incident “extremely serious”, the court said it was clear that there was “absolutely no regard” for the rule of law as the officers had gone there to do their job.
“These businessmen think they will construct illegal structures first and if there is a demolition, they will just kill the officers,” the court said. “This thinking is so wrong. These illegal structures are going to affect our future,” the judges commented.
The court also questioned why the police – there were around 160 policemen – could do nothing to protect the officer or catch the killer.”What were they doing? Watching her get killed? How did he flee,” the court asked.