Murdered Uttarakhand Teen Cremated, Family Waits For Justice

A provisional report of autopsy has stated that the 19-year-old woman died due to drowning and that her body had signs of injury caused by blunt force

The woman's relatives and local residents blocked a highway in protest

New Delhi: A 19-year-old receptionist, whose murder sparked protests in Uttarakhand, was cremated this evening amid massive protests against the police for alleged slow action. The family had also raised questions on the government action in the case.

Here are the top 10 developments of this big story

  1. The family of the 19-year-old had refused to cremate the body, questioning the demolition of the resort where she worked. They said it was an attempt to destroy evidence in the case in which the son of a senior BJP leader -- now expelled -- is the prime accused.

  2. The locals have blocked the Srinagar-Kedarnath highway in protest and despite requests from the administration and the family, the protesters refuse to move.  

  3. A provisional postmortem report stated the teen died due to drowning and that her body bore signs of injury caused by blunt force. The family had demanded the release of the report but the district magistrate of Pauri has ruled it out, saying the sealed cover report can only be submitted in court.

  4. "The postmortem was conducted by a four-doctor team... We are in constant touch with the family. Today they agreed to the cremation and said they want only the family to be present," said Dr Vijay Jogdande, the district magistrate.

  5. The teen was murdered allegedly by the hotel's owner, a BJP leader's son, and two others after she resisted their alleged attempts to push her into prostitution. Initially she was reported missing and her body was recovered from a canal yesterday.

  6. Pulkit Arya, son of now expelled BJP leader Vinod Arya, resort manager Saurabh Bhaskar and assistant manager Ankit Gupta have been arrested. The teen was last seen with the three men in a CCTV camera footage, the police said.

  7. Vinod Arya, former chairman of a state board with the rank of a minister, and his brother Ankit Arya, also a BJP functionary, have been expelled by the party. Mr Arya, however, claimed they had resigned. He also said Pulkit did not stay with them.  

  8. The Opposition has accused the police of going slow in the investigation and questioned the delay in the registration of the FIR. State police chief Ashok Kumar explained that the area where the resort is located does not come under the jurisdiction of regular police. "We have a system of land revenue officials registering FIRs," he said, explaining the delay.

  9. The Opposition has also raised questions about the demolition, alleging it was carried out on the orders of Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami. "This is a planned murder. People suspect that this demolition was carried out to destroy evidence," senior Congress leader and former Chief Minister Harish Rawat told NDTV. Mr Jogdande said it is being investigated who issued the demolition order.

  10. The Chief Minister has assured of "harshest action". "This is a very heinous crime. Whoever the culprit is, will not be spared," Mr Dhami has said.



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