This Article is From Sep 28, 2022

Uttarakhand Resort Murder Made A Fast-Track Case, Rs 25 Lakh For Family

Uttarakhand resort murder: For Ankita Bhandari's family, Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami announces Rs 25 lakh as compensation

Uttarakhand Resort Murder Made A Fast-Track Case, Rs 25 Lakh For Family

Uttarakhand resort murder: Owner Pulkit Arya, employees Ankit and Saurabh in police custody.


Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami today said the murder case of 19-year-old Ankita Bhandari, who worked as a receptionist at a resort near Rishikesh, will be tried in a fast-track court. He also announced Rs 25 lakh as compensation for her family from the Pauri-Garhwal region.

She was killed allegedly by since-expelled BJP leader Vinod Arya's son Pulkit Arya, who owns the resort, and two employees after she refused to provide "special services" — their code for prostitution — to guests at the resort. 


The three men were arrested and charged with murder last Friday, four days after she went missing, only after social media outrage and on-ground protests alleged police inaction due to Pulkit Arya's links to the ruling party.

The BJP later expelled Pulkit's father and former minister Vinod Arya, and his brother Ankit Arya.

Ankita's body was found from a water channel nearby. The autopsy confirmed she died by drowning and had injuries too.   

More allegations have, meanwhile, surfaced. Former employees have alleged that drug abuse and prostitution were regular "services" at the resort, Vanantra, about 10 km from Rishikesh, in Pauri district.

"The resort management would provide illicit liquor, ganja (cannabis) and other drugs, and even girls, to the guests," said Rishita, who worked there as a receptionist while her husband, Vivek, worked as a housekeeper, until two months ago. They had quit before Ankita Bhandari joined in August. Ankita, who took the job to be able to support her family, was killed less than a month after joining.

Chief Minister Dhami had already said "strict action" would be taken "no matter who is involved".

The case has also put a question mark on the rural crime management in the state. In some rural areas, complaints are registered by the patwari (land revenue official) — that's what happened in Ankita Bhandari's case — and only later taken up by the regular police.

Ankita Bhandari's family and protestors had initially refused to cremate her body, questioning the demolition of the resort. They said it was an attempt to destroy evidence.