Kasauli/Shimla (HP): The man accused of killing a woman officer leading a demolition drive against the illegal construction was nabbed on Friday in Mathura in a joint operation by the Himachal and the Delhi Police, officials said.
In a bid to change his appearance, the accused, Vijay Singh, shaved his moustache and trimmed his hair, but he was caught sitting near a temple, they said.
The Himachal Police had yesterday released Singh's photograph and offered a reward of Rs 1 lakh for any clues.
"The accused was arrested from Mathura in a joint operation by the Himachal and the 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.
The HP Police had shared some inputs with the Delhi Police following which Singh's location was traced.
With the help of technical surveillance, the Delhi Police zeroed in on the location of the accused to Mathura in Uttar Pradesh, the police said, adding that he was using cellphones of strangers to make calls.
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.
Meanwhile, the police in Mathura said they were not informed about the operation to nab the accused.
"Neither I was informed nor Kotwali Vrindaban about the joint operation by the Delhi Police and Himachal Pradesh Police," Deputy Superintendent of Police Rakesh Kumar said.
The accused had allegedly fired and killed Assistant Town Planner Shail Bala Sharma, who while leading a demolition drive against illegal constructions had reached his family's Narayani Guest House in Kasauli on Tuesday.
Singh's mother, Narayani, the owner of the guest house, said he had 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.
Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur said he will take stock of the situation in a meeting with senior officers. 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, the state government today shifted Mohit Chawla, Superintendent of Police, Solan, and Romesh Sharma, DSP, Parwanoo, as a fallout of the shooting incident, officials said.
The state government also decided to confer the 'Himachal Gaurav Puruskar' on the lady officer who lost her life in the incident.
Yesterday, the Supreme Court had pulled up the state authorities for their failure to ensure safety to the government officials.
"We might stop passing any orders if you are going to kill people," a bench of Justice 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.