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Before demolition drive, McLeodganj hoteliers asked to deposit firearms

Press Trust of India  |  Dharamshala (HP) 

Authorities have asked hoteliers in Himachal tourist hub McLeodganj to deposit their licensed weapons with the police to ensure that government workers are safe during a drive against illegal structures.

The unusual direction follows a shooting last month at a similar demolition drive in Kasauli, where a hotelier allegedly killed Shail Bala Sharma and PWD employee Gulab Singh.

has now issued a notification under section 144 of the Indian Penal Code, asking hotel owners and their staff in McLeodganj to deposit their firearms so that a Supreme Court-ordered demolition drive is conducted smoothly.

The IPC section bans joining an unlawful assembly with a weapon. A violation can lead up to two years in prison.

The DC has asked hoteliers in Mcleodganj and neighbouring Bhagsunag, Dharamkot and Naddi areas to act immediately.

He said illegal construction was already being cleared as directed by the

The step was being taken to maintain law and order and to prevent an incident like the one in Kasauli, Kumar said.

Shail Bala Sharma was supervising the demolition of unauthorised construction at Kasauli's Narayani guest house on May 1, when its owner allegedly shot her.

employee Gulab Singh succumbed to his gunshot injures later.

The Kangra DC said the firearms shall be kept in safe custody at station till the next orders.

There are around 140 illegal constructions in Dharamshala, officials said. Some hoteliers have started demolishing their illegal structures on their own.

The water and power connections of such hotels have already been disconnected, discouraging tourists.

Upper Hotel Association said the arrival of tourists this season is much reduced.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, June 12 2018. 18:35 IST