Uttarakhand BJP leader’s son arrested for killing 19-year-old Ankita Bhandari; accused Pulkit Arya allegedly tried to force her into prostitution


In a shocking development, a senior BJP leader’s son has been arrested in Uttarakhand for killing his 19-year-old female staff member, Ankita Bhandari, after she reportedly refused to agree to indulge in prostitution. The police later found Ankita’s body from a nearby canal.

Ankita Bhandari
Phot India Today

Ankita, who hailed from Shrikot village, worked at a Vanantra resort, owned by Pulkit Arya, as office staff. She had gone missing a few days ago. Both Ankita’s family members and Pulkit Arya had filed a police complaint about her missing.

However, it later emerged that she had been killed. Soon, police were able to zero in on Arya as the prime accused and arrest him along with two other staff members of the resort.

Uttarakhand Director General of Police, Ashok Kumar, said that the area where the resort is located falls under the land revenue police and not the regular police. “The land revenue police or patwari may have registered a case of missing. The matter was transferred to the police yesterday (Thursday) at the Lakshman Jhula Police Station. The police arrested all three accused within 24 hours.”

Kumar later said that two more sections, 302 and 201 of the IPC, had been added against the three accused. “That’s because they tried to suppress evidence by registering a case of missing even though they had killed the girl,” Kumar added.

Vanantra resort is nearly 10 km from the main town of Rishikesh, which is quite popular amongst Hindu devotees arriving for pilgrimage from all over India and the world.

A search team of the Uttarakhand Police later launched a search operation to locate Ankita’s body in nearby water bodies such as lakes and waterfalls.

The local administration partially demolished the controversial resort before angry residents attempted to set the building on fire. The BJP, meanwhile, has expelled Vinod Arya and his son from all party posts.

Pulkit Arya’s father Vinod Arya is a powerful BJP leader in the hilly state. He currently holds a state minister’s rank without a post in the Pushkar Singh Dhami government. Ankit Arya, the brother of the prime accused, is also a BJP leader in Uttarakhand.