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Uttarakhand: 3 including former BJP minister’s son, resort manager arrested for the murder of Ankita Bhandari, killed for refusing to ‘service’ resort clients

Ankita Bhandari was pushed into the Ganges by resort owner Pulkit Arya during an argument over his demand that she should provide sexual service to guests of his resort

On Friday, the Uttarakhand Police arrested three persons in the case of Ankita Bhandari who had gone missing five days ago from a resort in Pauri district. The three arrested persons have been identified as Pulkit Arya who is the son of former state minister Vinod Arya, resort manager Saurabh Bhaskar, and another person named Ankit Gupta.

According to the reports, Ankita worked as a receptionist in the Yamkeshwar Vidhan Sabha’s Ganga Bhojpur resort named Vanantra resort which is owned by Pulkit Arya. She was reported missing five days ago. However, the police launched an investigation after the girl’s family reported a missing case and feared murder. The culprits have informed police that Ankita was murdered after an argument with her as she was refusing to the demand of the resort owner for sexual favour for himself and his guests in the resort.

The police interrogated the three accused who confirmed that Ankita Bhandari had been murdered. According to ASP Shekhar Suyal, the three accused murdered the girl and threw her in the Rishikesh Chila barrage. “The SDRF team is conducting a search operation and is reducing the water in the Rishikesh Chila barrage to recover the dead body”, he said.

Reportedly, Pulkit Arya was forcing Ankita Bhandari to ‘service’ clients, which means she was being forced to become a prostitute for the resort customers, and she was refusing this demand. This led to a confrontation between the two, which escalated after Ankita told about Pulkit’s demands to other staff of the resort.

On September 18, Pulkit Arya, his friend Ankit Gupta and resort manager Saurabh Bhaskar took Ankita out for a chat to resolve the issue. They went to Rishikesh on bikes, with Ankita riding pillion with Pulkit. They stopped at an isolated dark place, where they drank liquor. Their Pulik Arya and Ankita Bhandari started arguing about the matter, with Pulit being angry that she had told others about his demands to others. Saurabh Bhaskar said that the argument led to a physical fight between the two, and Ankita threw Pulkit’s phone in the river during this fight. Angry over this, Pulkit pushed her into the river, presumably killing her.

After the incident, the rest of the group returned to the resort and pretended that nothing has happened. On the same night, they went to Haridwar, and from there Pulkit called the resort asking to talk to Ankita, to establish an alibi that he was not present when the girl went missing. When the resort staff told him that she is not around, he himself called the Revenue Police to report that the girl is missing.

So far, the police have not recovered the dead body of the girl and are investigating the case. Reportedly, after the arrest of Pulkit Arya who is the son of former state minister Vinod Arya, Renu Bisht, MLA of Yamkeshwar, and SDM Yamkeshwar Laxman arrived at the Jhula police station. The investigation will be completed soon, the police confirmed.

According to the reports, the family of the girl had filed a missing report complaint at the Revenue Police first but unfortunately, no action was taken by the Police. The matter was then immediately shifted from Revenue Police to Regular Police after the District Magistrate of Pauri intervened.

The girl had joined as a receptionist at the resort on August 28 and was abducted on September 18. The family of the girl claimed that the resort’s owner, management, and employees were involved in Ankita’s abduction because the resort’s CCTV cameras were also found vandalized. Yamkeshwar MLA Renu Bisht however has stated that Arya has been taken into custody only for interrogation. “This is an unfortunate incident. Whoever is guilty shall not escape. The Police shall investigate the case thoroughly”, he said.

The Father of the arrested accused, Vinod Arya meanwhile said that his son is innocent and that he knows nothing about the incident. “The girl had come for 15-20 days of the job. The truth behind this incident is not known yet. We will cooperate with the police”, he added.

The police have arrested the three and registered a case under several sections including murder. The matter is being investigated further. Kotdwar SDM Pramod Kumar said that the documents of the resort are also being examined. If this resort has been made against the rules, then action will be taken on that too, he said.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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