Home / News / India /  Uttarakhand: CM calls on Governor, discusses action taken in Ankita murder case

Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami called on the state Governor Lt Gen Gurmit Singh at Raj Bhavan on Saturday. The Chief Minister informed the Governor about the action being taken regarding the brutal murder case of Ankita.

"Chief Minister @pushkardhami ji informed about the action taken regarding the brutal murder of daughter Ankita. He has assured that the guilty will not be spared. The daughters of Uttarakhand are the value here, ensuring a safe environment for them is our topmost priority," tweeted Governor Lt Gen Gurmit Singh.

The Governor also expressed his condolences over the death of the young girl in the state.

"I am hurt by the heinous crime that has happened to Ankita, daughter of Uttarakhand. My heartfelt condolences are with the bereaved family. This unfortunate incident has been discussed in detail with Chief Minister @pushkardhami ji," he added in another tweet.

The body of 19-year-old Ankita Bhandari who worked in a Uttarakhand resort was recovered from a canal on Saturday. The Uttarakhand police said as the ruling BJP swung into action to expel its leader whose son, the main accused, owned the property and the administration began demolishing the structure.

Ankita's body was recovered from Chilla canal in Rishikesh six days after her parents found her missing from her room. Outrage over the killing of the 19-year-old, who worked as a receptionist in the Vanantara resort in Pauri district's Yamkeshwar block owned by Haridwar BJP leader Vinod Arya's son Pulkit Arya, escalated as details emerged of her trauma in the days preceding her death.

Violent protests erupted in areas surrounding the resort with locals breaking glass panes and some trying to torch a pickle factory in its premises. However, the fire did not spread much as the weather was cloudy.

BJP's Yamkeshwar MLA Renu Bisht's car was also attacked near the Chilla canal. However, the crowds, seething with anger, succeeded only in breaking the rear windscreen of her car, and Bisht was escorted to safety by police personnel.

Ankita Bhandari had been under pressure from Pulkit Arya -- who was arrested on Friday with resort manager Saurabh Bhaskar and assistant manager Ankit Gupta and sent to 14 days judicial custody -- to provide “special services" to guests, Director General of Police Ashok Kumar said.

This had been gleaned from her chat with a friend, he said.

Earlier in the day, Bhandari's Facebook friend reportedly alleged that she was killed because she refused to indulge in prostitution with guests as demanded by the owner of the resort.

As the ripples of anger spread, Chief Minister Dhami promised that no one would be spared and that a Special Investigation Team (SIT) headed by Deputy Inspector General P Renuka Devi had been constituted to probe all aspects.

"It is a tragic incident. Such a heinous crime has been committed against our daughter. Action is being taken against those involved in it. The father and brother of the main accused Pulkit Arya have been expelled from the BJP," Dhami told reporters.

Dhami also spoke to Ankita Bhandari's father on the phone and assured him of an impartial and speedy probe in his daughter's murder.

Sharing the information in a tweet, Dhami said the sternest action will be taken against the guilty which will prove to be a deterrent for criminals who commit such crimes.

Earlier in the day, the Vanatara resort in Rishikesh owned by the expelled BJP leader Vinod Arya's son Pulkit Arya, who is an accused in the Ankita Bhandari murder case, was set on fire by angry locals on Saturday.

Vinod Arya had formerly served as chairperson of the Uttarakhand Mati Board with a state minister's rank. His other son Ankit, who was also in the BJP, has now been removed as vice president of the Uttarakhand OBC Commission.

Bhandari had called a friend the night before she was reported missing to say she was in trouble, according to local reports.

The Congress staged protests in district headquarters across the state on Saturday to voice its anger over the vulnerability of women in the state.

Pradesh Congress Committee president Karan Mahra said the young woman had gone missing on September 18 and the FIR was lodged four days later. “It shows the state government is not serious in its actions. Women are not safe in Uttarakhand," Mahra said.

Countering the allegations of delay in action against the culprits, DGP Kumar said the matter was transferred to regular police from revenue police on Thursday and the accused were sent behind bars within 24 hours.

The autopsy is being done at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Rishikesh, police said.

According to Pauri Additional SP Shekhar Chandra Suyal, Ankita was found missing by her parents on September 19 (Monday) but they reported the matter to the revenue police the following day.

Due to slow progress in the investigation, the matter was handed over to regular police on September 22 and the arrests were made on September 23.

The three men accused of the crime initially tried to mislead the police but confessed when interrogated closer.

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