As soon as 19-year-old Ankita Bhandari’s mortal remains were recovered from a canal in Rishikesh on Saturday, September 24, Indians were handed a reality check. Bhandari used to work as a receptionist at a resort in Laxman Jhula, Rishikesh, owned by former BJP minister Vinod Arya’s son Pulkit Arya.

Uttarakhand Police arrested Pulkit Arya and three more suspects in connection to Ankita Bhandari’s murder on Friday, a day before her mortal remains were recovered. After the recovery, locals set fire to the resort where Ankita worked and which is owned by Pulkit.

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Who is Pulkit Arya?

Pulkit Arya is the son of former BJP minister Vinod Arya and a local party leader. He, along with two employees of his resort where Ankita worked, was arrested by the police on Friday after they confessed to killing Bhandari and throwing her corpse into the Chilla Canal.

According to reports, apart from being the owner of Vanantara Resort where Ankita Bhandari worked, it is not the first time Pulkit has found himself tangled in controversy. 

Following his arrest, Pulkit’s brother Aryan was sacked as the Deputy Chairman of Uttarakhand’s OBC commission on September 24. His father, the former minister Vinod Arya, was also expelled by the BJP.

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“During probe, it was found that she (Ankita) had left from the resort with three people and didn’t return. So, there were three suspects-Pulkit (Arya), Ankit & Bhaskar. We arrested them and produced before court yesterday. They were sent to remand and jailed,” ANI quoted SSP Pauri Garhwal, Yaswant Singh as saying.

A friend of the victim, Deep Pushp, told the police that Pulkit took Ankita to Rishikesh on the pretence of an ‘important matter’. Pushp revealed that Ankita called him on September 18 to let him know that Pulkit asked her to go with him to Rishikesh. He also added that after finding Ankita’s phone switched off around 8:30 pm, he called Pulkit Arya but he told him that she was asleep inside her room.