Murder of Ankita Bhandari at an Uttarakhand resort: Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami offers 25 lakh as compensation for Ankita Bhandari’s family.
What is the case ?
The murder of 19-year-old Ankita Bhandari, a receptionist at a resort close to Rishikesh, would be tried in a fast-track court, according to Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami. Additionally, he declared that her Pauri-Garhwal-regional family will receive Rs 25 lakh as compensation.
Know the culprits
She was reportedly murdered by Pulkit Arya, the resort’s owner and the son of expelled BJP politician Vinod Arya, and two staff members after she refused to give “special services,” which was code for prostitution, to resort visitors.
Four days after she vanished, the three men were only detained and charged with her murder last Friday. Social media outcry and demonstrations on the ground claimed that Pulkit Arya’s connections to the ruling party had prevented police from acting.
Later, the BJP removed both Pulkit Arya’s brother Ankit and father, former minister Vinod Arya.
Ankita’s corpse was discovered from a nearby water channel. She drowned to death, according to the autopsy, which also revealed injuries.
Meanwhile, new claims have emerged. Former workers claim that drug use and prostitution were common “services” at the resort, Vanantra, located in the Pauri area approximately 10 kilometres from Rishikesh.
Rishita, who worked there as a receptionist while her husband, Vivek, worked as a housekeeper, alleged that the resort administration would provide the visitors illegal alcohol, ganja (cannabis), and other narcotics, as well as females. Rishita worked there till two months ago. Before Ankita Bhandari joined in August, they had left. Less than a month after starting the job. Ankita—who accepted it so she could provide for her family—was slain.
No matter who is implicated, “severe action” would be taken, according to Chief Minister Dhami.
The case has also raised concerns about the state’s approach to managing rural crime. Ankita Bhandari’s case was one where a patwari (land revenue official) initially filed a report. Which was then subsequently followed up by the ordinary police.
Ankita Bhandari’s family and protesters first balked against creaming her remains because they questioned the resort’s destruction. They said that it was an effort to obliterate evidence.
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