A week after the murder of 19-year-old Ankita Bandhari in Uttarakhand, Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) chairperson Swati Maliwal cited the statement allegedly given by her co-workers at the Vanatara resort in Rishikesh. On Twitter, Swati Maliwal said that the workers have owned up to a drug and sex racket openly being run in the resort. On the basis of the same, she put forth three questions:-
- Who used to come to the resort?
- With whose connivance did it run?
- What evidence is buried under the bulldozer?
ऋषिकेश के जिस रिज़ॉर्ट में #AnkitaBhandari काम करती थी उस रिज़ॉर्ट में काम करने वाले कर्मचारियों ने मीडिया में बयान दिए हैं कि वहाँ खुलकर ड्रग्स – जिस्मफरोशी होती था।
मेरे सवाल –
1. रिसोर्ट में कौन कौन आता था ?
2. किसकी मिलीभगत से चलता था ?
3. बुलडोज़र के नीचे क्या सबूत दबे ?
— Swati Maliwal (@SwatiJaiHind) September 27, 2022
Ankita murder case
The mortal remains of Ankita, a receptionist at the Vanatara resort, were recovered from the Cheela Canal near Rishikesh on September 24, 6 days after she went missing. On September 22, Laxmanjhoola police registered a case, on the basis of a missing complaint filed with the police on September 18.
During the course of the investigation, the resort owner and son of MLA Vinod Arya, Pulkit Arya, Manager Ankit Gupta and Assistant Manager Saurabh Bhaskar were arrested. When grilled, they confessed that they took the receptionist to Rishikesh, and on their way back, pushed her into the canal.
The police flagged that in her WhatsApp chats, Ankita had revealed that she was being forced into doing ‘wrongful acts’. Republic accessed these chats which established that she was being forced into performing sexual acts and had put up a resistance against this.
For Pulkit’s alleged involvement, the BJP suspended his father Vinod Arya and his brother Ankit Arya from the party’s primary membership. The Aryas were the party’s prominent leaders in Haridwar.
Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami ordered to raze down Vanatara Resort. But questions were raised, considering that there were speculations of a racket being run on the premises. The next day, as protesters gathered to demand justice, another building of the resort was set ablaze.
Meanwhile, a delegation including, Leader of the Opposition Yashpal Arya, incumbent Uttarakhand Pradesh Congress Committee President Karan Mehra, and former UPCC President Ganesh Godiyal met Ankita’s family. The sought the family’s permission to push for a CBI probe in the matter. Her father has threatened of committing suicide if justice is not served.