Kasauli/Shimla (HP), May 3: The man accused of killing a woman officer leading a demolition drive against illegal construction was nabbed today in Mathura, police said. In a bid to change his appearance, Vijay Singh shaved his moustache and trimmed his hair but he was caught sitting near a temple, they said.
Police had yesterday released Singh's photograph and offered a reward of Rs 1 lakh for clues.
"The accused was arrested from Mathura in a joint operation by Himachal and Delhi Police. He would be brought to Himachal after obtaining transit remand. The police would interrogate him and recover the weapon used for shooting the officer," DGP Sita Ram Mardi said in Shimla.
Singh kept changing locations to avoid being caught, Solan SP Mohit Chawla told PTI.
He even stayed near the Mathura refinery and the Banke Bihari temple, Chawla added.
Singh had on Tuesday allegedly fired and killed Assistant Town Planner Shail Bala Sharma, who while leading a Supreme Court mandated demolition drive against illegal constructions had reached his family's Narayani Guest House. Himachal Pradesh authorities received much flak and were even pulled up by the apex court over the incident.
Singh's mother, Narayani, owner of the guest house, said he lost mental balance as he couldn't see their guest house being demolished.
"Vijay Singh kept a low-profile and helped his mother run the guest house, which was in her name. We are in a state of disbelief that an educated person could do such a thing. His children study in a reputed school in Kasauli. This one action of his has ruined his entire family," said a local who resides near the guest house.
Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur said he will take stock of the situation in a meeting with senior officers in the evening. The state government will fully comply with the orders of the Supreme Court and the National Green Tribunal, the chief minister said. Hitting out at opposition parties, he said they should refrain from politicising the incident. The unauthorised constructions in the area were old, he said taking a pot shot at rival Congress, which earlier ruled the state.
Meanwhile, state authorities continued the drive against unauthorised constructions in the Kasauli town planning area today. Yesterday, the Supreme Court had pulled up state authorities for their failure to ensure safety of government officials.
"We might stop passing any orders if you are going to kill people," a bench of Justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta said when the matter related to Sharma's killing was mentioned before it.
The Apex Court had on April 17 ordered the state government to demolish unauthorised structures in several hotels and guest houses in Kasauli and Dharampur areas of Solan. Four teams were constituted by the authorities to carry out the work.