Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur on Friday admitted to lapses in the execution of a court-ordered demolition drive that led to the killing of an assistant town planner. Thakur accused the police of callousness in handling the incident.
On Wednesday, the Supreme Court took suo moto cognisance of the incident. The top court criticised the state government for not providing adequate security to the officials.
The chief minister said the police personnel at the site did not act promptly enough. “Their callousness gave the culprit a chance to flee from the scene of crime,” he told reporters. “Moreover, the police did not take adequate precautionary measures before initiating the demolition drive. I regret [the] killing. They should have ensured that there was no weapon in the building. I admit that whatsoever happened in Kasauli should not have occurred. The government will ensure that the orders of any court whether state, apex or the National Green Tribunal are implemented effectively.”
The chief minister said that the state would confer the Himachal Gaurav Purskar to Sharma posthumously in addition to the Rs 5 lakh financial assistance it had announced for the family, the Hindustan Times reported. “It was also decided that the family of the deceased would be provided full salary for her remaining service period,” the chief minister said.
The state has ordered a magisterial probe into the incident. Governor Acharya Devvrat on Friday summoned Director General of Police Sita Ram Mardi to inquire about the status of the case.