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Protests Rock India’s Himalayan State Uttarakhand After Teenage Girl Murdered

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uttarakhand, sex crime, bharatiya janata party (bjp)

uttarakhand, sex crime, bharatiya janata party (bjp)

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Ankita Bhandari, a receptionist, was allegedly killed by her fellow employees, including the owner of the resort where she worked — Pulkit Arya, on September 18. The state authorities reported that her body was discovered in a canal of the River Ganges near the city of Rishikesh six days after the girl’s parents said she’d gone missing.

Uttarakhand’s state opposition parties Congress and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) staged a district protest in Delhi as well as in their own state, demanding the resignation of Uttarakhand State Chief Pushkar Singh Dhami following the murder of a young receptionist, Ankita Bhandari.

Markets in the cities of Srinagar (the girl’s home town) and Rishikesh in Uttarakhand also remained closed in a show of solidarity with the 19-year-old girl.

A huge crowd of protesters blocked the Badrinath-Rishikesh Highway for seven hours, demanding that the culprits should be hanged immediately.

Bhandari worked as a receptionist at the Vanantara resort, owned by Pulkit Arya, the son of Uttarakhand’s former chief minister, BJP-affiliated Vinod Arya.

Amid the protests, the BJP has already expelled Arya’s father and the older brother of the main suspect.

Police said that that the accused tried to force Bhandari to render “special services” to resort visitors, and the girl refused. Bhandari’s friends revealed that these “special services” entailed sex with guests of the resort.

On September 18, an altercation broke out between the girl and the three accused, who were drunk at the time, when she threatened to expose them. After that, they killed her and pushed her into the canal.

A preliminary postmortem report released by the All India Institute of Medical Sciences Rishikesh said that the woman appeared to have sustained injuries and died of drowning.

However, the woman’s parents, dissatisfied with the report, held a massive protest on Sunday outside the mortuary. Bhandari’s father said, “Her last rites will not be performed until they receive the report.”

The deceased family also smelled foul play after Vanatara Resort was demolished on Saturday.





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