Murder on the Ganges: Ankita Bhandari's body found, irate locals rough up accused, CM announces SIT

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New Delhi: The authorities seem to have finally woken up in the Ankita Bhandari murder case. Late last night, the body of the 19-year-old deceased was recovered from the Ganges in Rishikesh, and Vanantara, the resort of former state minister Vinod Arya’s son Pulkit Arya in Dobh Srikot where all the events leading to the murder of the young receptionist took place, was razed by bulldozer.

Locals chanting ‘We Want Justice’ had erupted in protest at several locations in Rishikesh on Saturday, the day the first arrests were made in the case. A group of women even intercepted the police vehicle carrying the three accused and vandalised it completely. In an effort to thrash the accused, the protesters tore off their clothes and even tried to overturn the vehicle, reports said.

The outpouring of anger from the local community forced the government, right up to the chief minister to respond quickly. Early on Saturday, Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami issued directions to form an Special Investigative team for further investigations in the case.

A team of the State Disaster Response Force that was conducting a search in the Ganges since Friday afternoon managed to fish out a body on Saturday morning that was later identified as Ankita by her family, police officials said.

Meanwhile, the case remained in the top trends on social media with nearly 50 thousand tweets with #JusticeForAnkita. Social media users targeted the laidback attitude of the police.

Ankita had gone missing on September 19. It was found in the investigation five days after her missing, that she was being forced into prostitution by the owner of the resort, where she had joined as receptionist about a month ago.

Following the arrests of the resort owner Pulkit Arya (35), manager Saurabh Bhaskar (35) and one Ankit Gupta (19), the police shared a press note saying that the three accused had thrown Ankita into the Ganges after an altercation the night before she went missing.

The three had later came back to resort and tried to portray business as usual, and behaved with the resort staff as if Ankita was still alive. The same night, the perpetrators left for Haridwar to avoid any queries.

From Haridwar, Pulkit Arya called up his resort and requested that Ankita Bhandari be called to the phone since he wanted to talk to her, in an attempt to create alibis. When the hotel staff told him that Ankita Bhandari was nowhere to be found, he called revenue officials – what locals call ‘patwari police’ – to report Ankita as missing.

Meanwhile, in the aftermath of Ankita going missing, facts revealed by her family, friends and resort staff came together to piece together the story of what really happened. Crucial evidence has now been recovered, and the case seems to be moving towards its logical conclusion.

Must Read: Murder on the Ganges: Ex-minister’s son held in case of missing woman, 19-year-old was being ‘forced’ into prostitution

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Murder on the Ganges: Ankita Bhandari's body found, irate locals rough up accused, CM announces SIT
Murder on the Ganges: Ankita Bhandari's body found, irate locals rough up accused, CM announces SIT
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