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Himachal Pradesh: Officer on anti-encroachment drive shot dead by hotel owner
In a shocking incident of a public officer paying with her life for performing her duties, an assistant town and country planner was shot dead on Tuesday while on an anti-encroachment drive that was ordered by the Supreme Court.

The deceased officer has been identified as Shail Bala. The incident happened at Kasauli in Himachal Pradesh. The accused, Vijay Thakur, the owner of Narayani Hotel near Kasauli, is yet to be arrested. The officer was rushed to a hospital but she could not sustain the injuries. One more official of the public works department identified as Gulab Singh was injured in the firing. Singh has been shifted to a hospital in Chandigarh where he is undergoing treatment.

The officer was heading the team that was on the anti-encroachment drive that was ordered by the Supreme Court against illegal encroachments that had come up in the town.

The apex court had ordered that the illegal constructions be demolished as they put the lives of people at risk by endangering the whole city and destroying the nature leading to landslides. As per reports, the accused is absconding since the time of the incident.

"You are putting the life of people to danger. For what? Money," a bench of Justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta had observed. The matter had initially come up before the National Green Tribunal (NGT) which had ordered that buildings that had illegally crossed the permissible limits should either be demolished or be closed down.

Later, several hotel owners had approached the Supreme Court challenging the NGT order. But the bench upheld the NGT order on April 17 and ruled that the illegal structures need to be demolished.

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