The hotelier who shot an official and a worker during a Supreme Court-ordered demolition drive on May 1 managed to flee the spot after threatening to shoot an unarmed police officer who gave him a chase, says a probe report on the incident which has underlined grave lapses on the part of police. Following the incident in which Assistant Town Planner (ATP) Shail Bala Sharma and PWD worker Gulab Singh were shot by Vijay Singh, owner of Narayani Hotel, the state government had ordered a probe by a panel headed by Dinesh Malhotra, secretary, Youth Services and Sports (YSS).
While Bala Sharma died on the spot, Gulab Singh succumbed to injuries at the PGI Chandigarh last week. Malhotra on Thursday submitted a 133-page report to Additional Chief secretary (Home) B K Aggarwal, which points out lapses and highlights how the police were ill-prepared for providing protection during the demolition drive. The report has also recommended action against erring officials.
When contacted, Aggarwal confirmed having received the report. “I could not really go through the findings. By tomorrow, I will take it up for action,” he said. Malhotra is learnt to have examined around 15 witnesses and also visited the spot. Despite having deployed Quick Response Teams (QRTs), besides personnel from various police stations, the arrangements were not up to the mark, his report says.
As per the report, there were only two policemen with weapons while the rest were unarmed. After Vijay Singh shot at Shail Bala Sharma, the local SHO tried to chase him. However, since he (SHO) was unarmed, Singh threatened to shoot him too and managed to escape. Vijay Singh was later arrested from Mathura in UP with the help of Delhi Police. Earlier this week, Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur had termed the Kasauli incident as a blot on the police and asked the top brass to get its act together.