Uttarakhand receptionist murder: Ankita died of drowning, says draft report; kin refuses to do last rites

Injuries were found on Ankita Bhandari's body, suggestive of a blunt force trauma; however, she died of drowning, said the preliminary report.

Published: 25th September 2022 10:27 AM  |   Last Updated: 25th September 2022 07:23 PM   |  A+A-

Uttarakhand receptionist Ankita Bhandari murder

Garhwal Sabha and Pahadi Mahaa Sabha members stage a protest over Ankita murder case, in Haridwar, on September 24, 2022. (Photo | PTI)

By Agencies

PAURI: In a major development in the Ankita Bhandari murder case, the family of the 19-year-old woman receptionist who was killed in Uttarakhand allegedly by her employer refused on Sunday to conduct her last rites until they get the final postmortem details, even as a preliminary report said she died due to drowning.

The draft report released by the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Rishikesh, also said antemortem injuries (injuries before death) have been found on Ankita Bhandari's body, suggestive of a blunt force trauma. However, she died of drowning, said the preliminary report.

Bhandari's body was recovered from the Cheela canal close to Rishikesh early on Saturday, six days after her parents found her missing from her room.

The postmortem was conducted by a four-member team of doctors at AIIMS on Saturday.

The details of injuries and other findings will be given in the final report, said the draft.

Ankita's father and brother on Sunday refused to perform her last rites until they get the final postmortem report.

"I am not satisfied with the provisional postmortem report. Her last rites will not be performed until we get the final detailed report," her father Virendra Singh Bhandari told PTI.

"We won't conduct her last rites until her post-mortem report is given. We saw in her provisional report that she was beaten up and was thrown in a river. But we're awaiting the final report," said Ajay Singh Bhandari, brother of Ankita Bhandari. He also said that the provisional report is lacking in detail.

They also spoke against the demolition exercise carried out at the resort where she was working as a receptioninst. "It may be an attempt to destroy evidence," Ajay said.

READ HERE | Uttarakhand receptionist murder: Protesters block Rishikesh-Badrinath national highway in Shrinagar

The Special Investigation Team (SIT) in-charge of the Ankita Bhandari murder case, DIG PR Devi, told ANI that Ankita's WhatsApp chats that have surfaced are also being probed.

As per reports, a WhatsApp chat has come to the fore in the investigation. According to police sources, in this chat, Ankita is telling her friend that the owner of the resort is pressuring her to provide 'extra service' to the guests.

As per a viral chat, it is alleged that it was being said that the guest would get 'extra service' for Rs 10,000.

An employee at the resort also alleged that Ankita Bhandari had called him crying on September 17 and asked him to take her bags out of the resort. He also confirmed that he saw Ankita at around 3 PM with three other people while only the rest of them returned except Ankita.

He also claimed that the owner Pulkit Arya's brother Ankit Arya came at 8 AM on September 18 and talked about preparing dinner for four people and said that he would have dinner in Ankita's room. The employee then had said that the service boy can make the dinner.

The resort's helper meanwhile alleged that Ankit was trying to mislead the staff as Ankita had not returned.

DIG PR Devi said that every employee of the Vantra resort would be called to the police station. The statements of these employees would be recorded, the officials said. "We have called every employee in the resort to the police station. We will take everyone's statements. We're running a full background analysis on the resort," said DIG PR Devi.

Earlier on Saturday, the Vanantara resort in Rishikesh owned by expelled BJP leader Vinod Arya's son Pulkit Arya, who is an accused in the Ankita Bhandari murder case, was set on fire by angry locals.

Anger over the horrific crime poured onto streets in other parts of Uttarakhand as well.

Protestors also gheraoed bus office and the District Magistrate's office in Pauri.

The body of 19-year-old Ankita Bhandari who was reported missing a few days ago was also recovered on Saturday from the Chilla canal in Rishikesh.

Three persons, including Pulkit Arya, were arrested on Friday after they 'confessed' to having pushed Ankita into the canal after an altercation.

(With inputs from ANI and PTI)


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