‘Resort bulldozed to destroy evidence?’: U’khand teen’s family refuses cremation

Updated on Sep 25, 2022 02:33 PM IST

The Uttarakhand woman’s family has questioned the government action of bulldozing parts of the resort owned by prime accused Pulkit Arya, the son of now expelled BJP leader Vinod Arya.

The Uttarakhand woman’s family said bulldozing the resort hurriedly overnight may have destroyed the evidence at the crime scene. (PTI)
The Uttarakhand woman’s family said bulldozing the resort hurriedly overnight may have destroyed the evidence at the crime scene. (PTI)
ByAmit BathlaAmit Bathla

The family of the 19-year-old Uttarakhand woman receptionist Ankita Bhandari on Sunday refused to cremate her body, questioning the postmortem report and the government’s overnight action of bulldozing parts of the resort owned by prime accused Pulkit Arya, the son of now expelled BJP leader Vinod Arya, saying it may have destroyed the evidence at the crime scene.

Ankita Bhandari was allegedly murdered by Pulkit Arya and two others after she allegedly resisted their attempts to force her into prostitution. The body of the woman, who was reported missing on September 18, was recovered from Chilla canal in Rishikesh on Saturday.

Also Read | Uttarakhand teen murder: Stir still on, family raises concern amid probe| Top 10

Questioning the bulldozer action on the resort, her brother Ajay Singh Bhandari said, “It may be an attempt to destroy evidence.”

The district administration demolished the alleged illegal construction of the Vanantara resort using a bulldozer in Ganga Bhogpur Talla in Yamkeswar area in Pauri Garhwal on Friday late evening. Later, a group of angry locals on Saturday set the property on fire and broke its glass panes.

“I am not satisfied with the provisional postmortem report. Her last rites will not be performed until we get the final detailed report,” said Ankita’s father Virendra Singh Bhandari.

The funeral of the woman was scheduled to be held on Sunday morning. Her body is kept at Srinagar medical college. The family has also demanded trial in fast-track court and capital punishment for the accused.

The provisional autopsy report stated that she had blunt force trauma, and died due to drowning. In the autopsy, which was conducted by a panel of four doctors from the department of forensic medicine and toxicology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Rishikesh, it is also mentioned that ante-mortem injuries were found on the body.

“We are making efforts to persuade the family. They have some concerns about the post-mortem report. We are taking every step possible to support the family. However, some things like post-mortem are beyond our control,” said Pauri additional superintendent of police (ASP), Shekhar Chandra Suyal.

According to officials, the final post-mortem report is expected to be released on Monday.

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

Chief minister Pushkar Singh Dhami on Saturday spoke to the victim’s father over the phone and assured him of the harshest possible punishment for the accused. Earlier, director general of police (DGP) Ashok Kumar had a phone conversation with the victim’s father.

The state unit of the Congress has also questioned the government’s bulldozer action on the resort.

Also Read | Uttarakhand: Resort staff shares deets on night before receptionist went missing

“Is the government destroying the evidence by ordering the bulldozer action at the resort? Police failed to secure the custody of the accused. The Dhami government’s intention is not pure,” said party’s state chief, Karan Mahara.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) state media in-charge, Manveer Singh Chauhan said the Congress is trying to make an issue out of it for political gains as they have nothing to speak about after chief minister Dhami’s “strict and swift action” in the case.

“Many such incidents took place during the Congress rule. But they didn’t even file FIRs and saved criminals. Unlike them, BJP treats criminals like criminals,” he said.

(With PTI inputs)

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