Uttarakhand receptionist murder case: Efforts on to identify VIP guest mentioned in victim’s chat

The police is attempting to find out about the ‘VIP guest’ mentioned in the chats of Ankita Bhandari, whose murder shook the nation. As part of the probe, Ankita’s chat with a friend surfaced where she had mentioned a VIP guest she was asked to offer “extra service” for money at the Uttarakhand resort where she was employed.

A high-ranked police official on Wednesday told PTI that identifying the VIP guest is part of the efforts of the ongoing probe. When asked why the VIP guest angle is yet to be brought under the ambit of the probe, the official asserted that he will also be included.

"It is, in fact, in our efforts to find out about him that we have summoned Ankita's friend from Jammu, Pushp. The investigation will be carried forward on the basis of his interrogation," he said.

The officer also added that all angles are being investigated with total promptness and rubbished allegations that the accused were being shielded by destroying evidence related to the case. Eyebrows were raised when parts of the infamous resort were demolished. The official said that there has been no tampering with the evidence.

"A special investigation team (SIT) headed by a DIG-level officer is fast collecting the shreds of evidence on the basis of which we can plead for the hanging of the accused in the court of law," he said, requesting anonymity.

The officer also addressed the doubts in some quarters around the cause of death as drowning. The doubts arise from the fact that the victim’s body was not bloated when it was retrieved from the Chilla canal in which the accused confessed to pushing her on September 18. With her both not bloated when found on September 24, despite a gap of 5-6 days, there have been claims that she was first killed and then thrown into the water body.

The official said that a post-mortem by a panel of four doctors at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Rishikesh clearly stated that the victim died due to drowning.

The official said that three things were very clear from the autopsy - that the victim died due to drowning, there were injury marks on her back, fingers and elbow due to being dragged on the floor, and no evidence to suggest she was raped.

He, however, added that a forensic examination is being conducted to rule out rape and the report is likely to be available soon.

19-year-old Ankita Bhandari was allegedly killed by former BJP leader Vinod Arya’s son Pulkit Arya who was the owner of the resort. Two of his accomplices are also accused in the murder.

Meanwhile, a grey Activa and a black Pulsar motorcycle, which were allegedly used in the crime, were seized on Tuesday by the SIT probing the case. The vehicles are understood to have been used to take the victim to the canal. Investigation team also questioned the employees of the resort who divulged that it had become a hub of wrongful activities much before Bhandari's murder.

Source : DNA India