Uttarakhand: Ankita Bhandari murder accused likely to undergo narco test
In a significant development, the Uttarkhand Police's Special Investigation Team (SIT) has decided to undergo a narco test of all accused in the murder case of 19-year-old Uttarakhand resort receptionist Ankita Bhandari, India Today reported. It said an application in this regard has already been submitted to the court. The narco test will likely be conducted soon after approval by the court.
Why does this story matter?
- Bhandari had gone missing on September 18 after the main accused Pulkit Arya—son of ex-BJP leader Vinod Arya—reportedly pressurized her to indulge in prostitution.
- Widespread outrage swept the state as people took to the streets demanding action, following which the accused were held—who reportedly confessed to the crime.
- The BJP later expelled Vinod and his other son Ankit, too.
Chargesheet will be filed after the narco test
According to reports, the SIT has decided to finalize the charge sheet of the murder case after the narco test. The charge sheet will then be presented in court to corroborate the testimonies. Sources told India Today that narco tests will be done to strengthen the evidence and get strict punishment for the accused.
What do we know about the case so far?
On September 24, the body of Bhandari, who had gone several days before, was fished out from Rishikesh's Chilla canal. Pulkit and two others were arrested a day earlier for allegedly pushing her into the canal following a dispute. Uttarakhand CM Pushkar Singh Dhami later ordered a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe into the incident.
What led to the incident?
Reportedly, Pulkit was angry over Bhandari revealing to her colleagues his unsolicited advances. Pulkit and the other accused—his friend Ankit and resort manager Saurabh—took Bhandari out on September 18 to resolve the dispute. They headed to Rishikesh on two bikes, with Pulkit and Bhandari riding together. They stopped midway, where Pulkit and Ankit drank together, and later she was pushed into the river.
Resort demolished by civic authorities
Following the Uttarakhand CM's directions, civic officials demolished the resort overnight. Police started investigating the reason amid charges of inactivity owing to the accused political. The authorities also didn't confirm reports that the teenager was coerced into prostitution.
Angry protesters set the resort ablaze
Following the incident, the residents held protests against the accused and BJP leaders. The irate residents had also set fire to parts of a resort building where Pulkit reportedly murdered Bhandari a day after the authorities demolished it. They also destroyed the car of local BJP MLA Renu Bisht. She apparently needed to be taken to safety by the police.