Ankita Bhandari’s parents on indefinite hunger strike seeking CBI probe into her murder, say don’t trust state SIT
The parents of Ankita Bhandari, who was allegedly killed by her employer and ex-BJP leader’s son Pulkit Arya at his Vanantara resort in Rishikesh in collusion with two accomplices, are on an indefinite hunger strike with local activists to seek a CBI probe in the case.
The parents said they had no faith in the SIT constituted by Uttarakhand government.
A sit-in protest has already been going on for the same demand for the past 41 days.
After joining the protests organised by Yuva Nyay Sangharsh Samiti in Koylaghati on Tuesday, the parents of deceased Ankita Bhandari expressed their lack of trust in the investigation being conducted by the Special Investigative Team (SIT).
Uttarakhand was rocked by Ankita Bhandari’s murder just days after joining the Vanantara resort as receptionist.
The resort is owned by Pulkit Bhandari, whose father and brother were BJP leaders till before the murder, but were thrown out of the party after the news of the murder broke.
Pulkit is the prime accused in the Ankita Bhandari murder case and it is alleged that he was pushing Ankita into prostitution at the resort and to service high-profile clients, which became the bone of contention between the two and led Pulkit to throw Ankita into the Ganges at a secluded place.
Ankita’s body was later found in a canal of the Ganges in Rishikesh near the resort.
Meanwhile, the ongoing protest is gaining steam and huge public support from across the region, including social activists in Dehradun.
On Tuesday, Shivanand Saraswati, a well-known activist, who has been fighting to save the Ganges in the Himalayan region of Uttarakhand, has also joined the protest.
The protesters have been demanding the agencies investigating Ankita Bhandari case to reveal the names of the VIPs who were regular visitors at Arya’s Vanantara Resort for whom the accused was pressuring Ankita to deliver ‘extra service’.
While addressing the protesters Shivanand Saraswati also questioned the SIT’s investigation and alleged that the agencies were botching up the probe due to political pressure.
He claimed to know some damning facts about the case and alleged that a lot of influential people were frequent visitors at Arya’s Vanatara resort.
Meanwhile, Ankita’s father Virendra Bhandari, while questioning the investigation, said the evidence at the crime scene was destroyed the very next day of the incident.
“The room in the factory situated next to Vanatara Resort, where the other accused lived, was also set on fire. All the evidence related to the incident has been destroyed,” he said, adding that a concerted effort was on to weaken the case.
Bhandari said that 10 days after the incident, even Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami had come to his village to meet him and had assured speedy trial and swift punishment in the case. “However, till date nothing has happened,” the distraught father said.
Ankita Bhandari (19) worked as a receptionist at Vanantra Resort in Yamkeshwar region of Pauri district. She had gone went missing on the night of 18 September. Following which, three people including the owner of the resort
Pulkit Arya and two others were arrested.
During police interrogation, they confessed to the murder and on their direction police had recovered Ankita’s body from a canal on September 24. It was said by the cops that Ankita was pushed in the ganges after she refused to
offer sexual favours to the VIP guests, Arya was expecting at his resort during that time.