Uttarakhand receptionist’s body found in canal; Angry locals set resort on fire

Updated on Sep 24, 2022 02:44 PM IST

A day after the administration bulldozed the “illegal construction” at Vanantra Resort in Uttarakhand’s Pauri Garhwal district, where a 19-year-old receptionist girl was allegedly murdered, a group of angry locals set the property on fire on Saturday

The SDRF recovered the girl’s body from the Chilla canal on Saturday morning while the district administration bulldozed the illegal construction’ of the resort late on Friday evening. (ANI)
The SDRF recovered the girl’s body from the Chilla canal on Saturday morning while the district administration bulldozed the illegal construction’ of the resort late on Friday evening. (ANI)

A day after the administration bulldozed the “illegal construction” at Vanantra Resort in Uttarakhand’s Pauri Garhwal district, where a 19-year-old receptionist girl was allegedly murdered, a group of angry locals set the property on fire on Saturday.

The resort is owned by key accused Pullkit Arya, the son of former minister and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Vinod Arya.

The whole state is on boil with protests being reported from various parts as people demanded capital punishment for the accused and action against guilty officials.

Renu Bisht, MLA from Yamkeshwar Assembly in Pauri Garhwal, faced the anger of protestors who vandalised her car and raised slogans against her when she was returning from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Rishikesh, where the woman’s postmortem was underway.

A large crowd gathered at AIIMS Rishikesh amid heavy police deployment.

The BJP has expelled the father and brother of the key accused from the party.

The state government also removed the brother of the key accused, Ankit Arya, who is the vice-chairperson of the Uttrakhand OBC Welfare Commission, from his post.

On the instructions of chief minister Pushkar Singh Dhami, the district administration demolished a part of the Vanantara resort using a bulldozer in Ganga Bhogpur Talla in Yamkeswar area in Pauri Garhwal on Friday late evening.

The government has also suspended the local patwari for allegedly not registering a case.

Earlier in the day, the Uttarakhand government announced constitution of a special investigation team (SIT) to probe the girl’s murder

“I have ordered the constitution of the SIT headed by deputy inspector general of police (DIG) P Renu Devi to ensure harshest punishment to culprits of the woman,” chief minister Pushkar Singh Dhami said on Saturday morning.

Meanwhile, the state disaster response force (SDRF) on Saturday morning recovered the body of the woman from the Chilla canal.

An SDRF team recovered the girl’s body from Chilla lake on Saturday morning (Sourced)
An SDRF team recovered the girl’s body from Chilla lake on Saturday morning (Sourced)

Lalita Negi, media-in-charge, SDRF, said they had been engaged in the rescue operation since Friday. “Our deep divers and rescue team restarted the operation this morning and we found a body near Chilla powerhouse. The body was subsequently handed over to the kin who identified it to be of their daughter,” Negi said.

“The body of our daughter was recovered this morning. My heart is deeply pained by this heartbreaking incident,” the chief minister said.

The district administration bulldozed the illegal construction’ of the Vanantra Resort, owned by the BJP leader’s son, late on Friday evening. (Sourced)
The district administration bulldozed the illegal construction’ of the Vanantra Resort, owned by the BJP leader’s son, late on Friday evening. (Sourced)

The police on Friday arrested three accused, identified as Pulkit Arya, resort manager Saurabh Bhaskar, and staff member Ankit Gupta for allegedly killing the woman, a receptionist at the resort, and throwing her body in the Chilla canal on September 18.

To mislead the police, the accused themselves filed a missing complaint with the revenue police on September 20. The matter was transferred to the regular police on September 22.

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