Many gathered to hold protests and block the Rishikesh-Badrinath national highway in Uttarakhand’s Shrinagar area on Sunday for several hours. The protestors demanded the perpetrators of Ankita Bhandari’s murder to be “hanged” immediately. According to news agency PTI, some of the women at the protest demanded that the accused should be handed over to them so that they could be punished appropriately. A few of the protesters also said that they would lift the blockade only after a written assurance stating that compensation and jobs will be given to Ankita’s family.
Additional Superintendent of Police Shekhar Chandra Suyal appealed to the crowd to end the protest and assured them that all necessary action was being taken against the accused. However, they refused to budge. Later, Ankita’s father was called to pacify the crowd, who told protestors that the police were cooperating with him and investigations were being carried out properly, as per the PTI report.
Ankita’s father has said that the family will cremate the body only after getting the final post-mortem report. Her body has been kept in a mortuary after an autopsy at AIIMS, Rishikesh.
“I will cremate my daughter only after I get the final postmortem report. CM has told me that SIT constituted, the case will be tried in a fast-track court,” the 19-year-old girl’s father said at Shrinagar, Uttarakhand, where protesters gathered demanding justice for the girl, ANI reported.
Shops in Shrinagar were also kept shut due to protests. Ankita’s village Shrikot is about 23 km from Shrinagar. Meanwhile, Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami on Sunday called Governor Lt General Gurmit Singh (Retd) at Raj Bhavan and informed him about the action being taken in the Ankita case. The CM has reportedly assured that the culprits wouldn’t be spared under any circumstances, and the Governor has expressed his condolences to the bereaved family.
Ankita who worked at the Vanantra resort in Pauri district’s Yamkeshwar block as a receptionist was allegedly murdered and thrown into the Chilla canal. Pulkit Arya has been named as the “main accused” and two other employees of the resort have also been arrested. BJP leader Vinod Arya, and his other son Ankit Arya have been expelled from the party, and the Uttarakhand administration also demolished the Vanantra resort, on orders of the CM.