Uttarakhand resort murder: 10 points
Dehradun, Sep 25: Five resorts in Dhanachuli area of Nainital district were sealed on Saturday in a swift action on resorts and guest houses in the state following the killing of Ankita Bhandari allegedly by the owner of a resort where she worked as a receptionist, an official release said.
After Bhandari's murder came to light on Friday Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami had directed all the District Magistrates to check resorts and guest houses in their respective areas. Various homestays and resorts were checked by the Nainital district administration on Saturday and 5 resorts sealed in a single day on the instructions of the District Magistrate for violation of norms, the release here said.
The chief minister had given instructions in clear words that if any irregularity is found in any homestay resort, immediate action should be taken. Resorts and guest houses in other districts are also being checked, the release added. The chief minister has made it clear that those who disturb the atmosphere in the state will not be tolerated at all, no matter how influential they are.
The entire issue in 10 points:
- The body of Ankita Bhandari who worked in a Uttarakhand resort was recovered from a canal on Saturday, 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.
- 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.cBJP's Yamkeshwar MLA Renu Bisht's car was also attacked near the Cheela canal close to Rishikesh.
- 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. 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 have sex with guests as demanded by the owner of the resort.
- As the ripples of anger spread, Chief Minister Pushkar Singh 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.
- 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 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.
- 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 made on September 23.
- The three men accused of the crime initially tried to mislead the police, but confessed when interrogated closer, Suyal said yesterday. On Friday, crowds attacked the police car when the accused were being taken to a court in Kotdwar. They smashed the windowpanes of the car and roughed up the three men. Some women who were part of the mob demanded that the accused must be "hanged."