More than 48 hours after he allegedly shot dead a government official leading a demolition drive in Himachal Pradesh’s Kasauli area, hotelier Vijay Thakur was arrested by police from Mathura on Thursday, officials said. 51-year-old Assistant Town Planner Shail Bala, was allegedly chased and shot dead by Thakur during a demolition drive against unauthorised structures in hotels across the hill resort, on Tuesday.
Additional SP Solan, Dr Shiv Kumar, who was heading the SIT formed to investigate the case, said Thakur was arrested from Mathura in UP as he was constantly on police radar. He said the hotelier was being brought to Solan for investigations and follow-up. He will be produced before the court on Friday.
The Director General of Police S R Mardi, who had set-up the SIT, expressed satisfaction over the teamwork by police in arresting the accused after a hard chase within and outside the state. The DGP was also camping in Kasauli to supervise the investigations and oversee the demolition drive, and security arrangements.
Mardi briefed Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur who arrived from Delhi later in the day and asked for latest update on the investigations from the DGP. “We were pretty sure that he will be in our net. There were very authentic leads on which the police teams were working day and night,” he told the Indian Express.
The Solan police had taken help of their UP counterparts in nabbing him, said an official even as all police organisations in the neighboring states of Haryana, Punjab, Uttrakhand and Delhi were also alerted. His photographs and images were also flashed for identification.
The accused had also sent a text message saying he was going to surrender to the police.
The accused was on the run after the incident. Himachal Police had also announced a reward of Rs 1 lakh for information leading to Thakur’s arrest. Earlier in the day, the Supreme Court sought the status of probe into the killing directed the state government to apprise it of the steps taken to ensure no unauthorised construction is carried out in the state.
Thakur, who is owner of Narayani Guest House, one of the hotels facing demolition on the Supreme Court orders, had allegedly shot at Shail Bala when she had gone to inspect his guest House. She was declared brought dead at the local hospital.