The main suspect in the murder of the 19-year-old woman, whose body was discovered in the Chilla canal in Rishikesh, Uttarakhand, is Pulkit Arya, the son of Bharat Janata Party politician Vinod Arya.
The victim was reported missing on September 18 and her body was found on September 24, more than 24 hours and five days after the crime.
Ankita Bhandari, 19, was found dead on Saturday in Rishikesh city close to a bridge over the River Ganges. According to preliminary investigations, the body was dumped in a canal after Bhandari was killed, according to the local police.
She had previously held a receptionist position at a resort run by Pulkit Arya, the son of Vinod Arya, a former minister for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the state government of Uttarakhand.
Following protests, the offenders were apprehended, and Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami immediately issued an order for the illegal resort to be demolished.
What information is known about Pulkit Arya? How did he and the other defendant try to conceal the truth?
Pulkit Arya: Who is he?
On September 23, police detained Pulkit Arya along with Saurabh Bhaskar (35) and Ankit Gupta, two of his resort workers (19).
Arya is the main suspect and owner of the Vanantra Resort. His father previously served as the chairman of the Uttarakhand Mati Kala Board and as the national executive of the BJP Other Backward Classes (OBC) Morcha.
Ankit Arya, Pulkit’s brother, was fired from his position as the state’s deputy chairman of the OBC Commission after the murder was discovered.
Who said what to the police?
The suspect admitted to the police that he and Pulkit Arya argued verbally while being questioned after being apprehended. Pulkit then said to the other two accused, “The girl is upset, let’s take her to Rishikesh.”
Once the accused and the victim arrived at the Chilla canal, the argument heated up considerably. Pulkit accused the woman of telling her coworkers about their conversations after she claimed he encouraged her to develop “special contacts” with the resort’s guests.
The victim then threatened to tell everyone what was happening at the resort and threw the prime accused’s phone into a canal. The three men allegedly assaulted the woman and pushed her into the canal while they were drunk, according to the authorities.