States & UTs

    Ankita Bhandari Murder Case: Uttarakhand Police Arrests News Portal Operator For 'Provocative' Statements

    Inam Ansari
    March6/ 2024
    Last Updated:

    Ankita Bhandari Murder Case

    Dehradun: The Uttarakhand Police have arrested Ashutosh Negi, operator of a news portal, for attempting to sow distrust among people towards the government and the police, specifically in connection with the murder case of Ankita Bhandari, state police said.
    Uttarakhand Director General of Police Abhinav Kumar told ANI that Pauri Garhwal Police has arrested Negi as he was trying to create distrust among the public in case of the September 2022 murder case of Bhandari, a 19-year-old who worked as a receptionist at a resort in Rishikesh.
    The Uttarakhand DG said that the case is pending in court after the Special Investigation Team probing the case filed a charge sheet. The top police official said that despite an ongoing trial in the case, attempt was being made to create a feeling of distrust towards the government and the police by making provocative statements every day.
    Negi already faces charges under the SC/ST Act, and a new case has been registered against him after he got into a scuffle with policemen during his arrest.
    DGP Kumar said that Negi was arrested on March 5.
    "Ashutosh Negi who is arrested in this case was creating mischief without any evidence. His involvement in the case is also being investigated. The role of policemen in instigating rumours is also being ascertained. If found guilty in the investigation strict action will be taken against such policemen also," the Uttarakhand Director General of Police said.
    The DGP assured that the state government has granted complete freedom to the Uttarakhand Police to impartially and fearlessly investigate the murder case. He asserted that there was no external pressure during the investigation, and the Chief Minister fully supported the process. "The Uttarakhand Police remains committed to ensuring justice for Ankita Bhandari and will continue its efforts until justice is served," the DGP said.
    "Whoever is vaguely blaming the government on the arrest of Ashutosh Negi, they are either being carried away by their emotions or they have an agenda of their own. During the investigation of the Ankita Bhandari murder case, Uttarakhand Police was under no pressure whatsoever. We got the full support of the government and the Chief Minister. State Police has carried out an unbiased and bold investigation," the DGP said.
    The body of Ankita Bhandari was recovered from the Chilla canal in Rishikesh on September 24. She was reported missing for at least six days before the officials found her body. An SIT headed by Deputy Inspector General of Police P Renuka Devi is investigating the case.
    Ankita worked as a receptionist at a resort run by Pulkit Arya, the son of expelled BJP leader Vinod Arya. Pulkit Arya was arrested for allegedly pushing her into the canal following an altercation. Two more people - Ankit Gupta and Saurabh Bhaskar, were also arrested in the case. —ANI