The 19-year-old woman, who worked as a receptionist at the Vanantra Resort in Pauri Garhwal district, Rishikesh, was allegedly murdered by the three accused for refusing to provide “extra services” to the VIP guests, following which the police arrested three persons in connection. All three accused are in jail
A special investigation team (SIT) of Uttarakhand police on Monday submitted the charge sheet against three prime accused for allegedly murdering a receptionist at a resort in the Pauri Garhwal district, Rishikesh, officials said.
The 500-page charge sheet containing statements of 100 witnesses and 30 pieces of documentary evidence, was filed in the court of Kotdwar judicial magistrate first class Bhawna Pandey on Monday, additional director general of police, law and order V Murugesan told HT.
The charge sheet was sent to the prosecuting officer on Saturday for analysis who subsequently filed it in the court on Monday, he said.
A senior police officer privy to the investigation who didn’t wish to be named said, “We have submitted the charge sheet in the investigation which includes forensic reports, post-mortem report, electronic evidence such as data of three mobile phones belonging to the accused, and WhatsApp chats.”
According to the police, the charge sheet includes statements of 100 witnesses, including that of former employees who worked at the resort.
“A supplementary charge sheet will be submitted after a further investigation under section 173(8) of the code of criminal procedure,” Murugesan said, adding “…we have been trying to get the approval for the narco and polygraph tests of the accused.”
The three prime accused, including resort owner Pulkit Arya, Saurabh Bhaskar and Ankit Gupta were charged under sections 302 (murder), 201 (causing disappearance of evidence), 120B (criminal conspiracy) and 354A (sexual harassment) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and 5 (1) b of the Immoral Traffic Prevention Act that deals with prostitution, according to police.
The 19-year-old woman, identified as Ankita Bhandari, working as a receptionist at the Vanantra Resort in Pauri Garhwal district, Rishikesh, was allegedly murdered by the three accused for refusing to provide “extra services” to the VIP guests, following which the police arrested three persons in connection. All three accused are in jail.
The resort was owned by the key accused and son of former minister Pulkit Arya.
The receptionist’s body was found on September 24, six days after she went missing from her home. The girl was reportedly murdered on September 18.
Facing public outrage, Uttarakhand police formed an SIT under deputy inspector general P Renuka Devi to investigate the matter. According to the police, Pulkit Arya has a criminal past. The first case against him was registered in 2009 for trespassing, and the second in 2016 for fraud.
His father Vinod Arya was recently booked by Haridwar police for allegedly attempting to sexually assault his staffer. In October, Pauri Garhwal police invoked the ‘Gangster Act’ against all three accused in the case.