Prominent politician’s son arrested for murder — RT World News

The son of a senior Indian politician is accused of killing a young employee of a resort hotel he owns for refusing to provide sexual services

Indian police on Saturday found the body of Ankita Bhandari, a 19-year-old receptionist who disappeared earlier this week. The killing sparked massive public outrage and sparked a political meltdown, after Pulkit Arya, the son of a prominent politician from the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), was named the prime suspect.

Bhandari, who worked at the Vanatara Resort in the Arya-owned town of Rishikesh, disappeared earlier this week after a dispute with the resort’s management. Local police confirmed that the victim was coerced by Arya and two other suspects into providing “special services” to station customers. According to local media, Bhandari complained to her friend that management had demanded she have sex with guests at the resort and said she was in “difficulty” shortly before his disappearance. “They are trying to turn me into a prostitute” one of his whatsapp messages read.

As news of the murder spread, the station was attacked by angry residents, who pelted the building with various projectiles, smashing its windows. The mob also attempted to lynch Arya, as well as the station manager and deputy manager as police arrested them on Friday. Footage circulating online shows the partially naked and visibly beaten suspects inside a police vehicle.

The station ended up being partially demolished overnight by order of the local authorities, as it turned out to have been built illegally. The demolition was ordered by the Chief Minister of Uttarakhand State, Pushkar Singh Dhami, who strongly condemned the killing.

“It is unfortunate. The police are working, they have done their job to make the arrests. The most severe punishment would be meted out for such heinous crimes, regardless of the criminal,” he said.

The surviving part of the station was set on fire by locals on Saturday after Bhandari’s body was found in a local canal.

Arya and two other suspects have already confessed to the murder, according to police. The resort owner said he killed the receptionist by pushing her off a cliff into the canal following the row last Sunday night.

The BJP has attempted to distance itself from the scandal, expelling both the father of the prime suspect, party leader Vinod Arya, and his brother Ankit Arya, from BJP ranks. After being ousted from the party, the politician, who had previously served as Minister of State, expressed his support for the ongoing investigation.

“The district administration should investigate the matter and if we are wrong, action should be taken accordingly,” he stated.

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