Murder charge on ex-minister's son, 2 others in 2022 U'khand case

11 months ago 56

DEHRADUN: The sessions court of Kotdwar in Pauri Garhwal district on Saturday fixed charges on the three accused --

Pulkit Arya

,

Saurabh Bhaskar

and

Ankit Gupta

-- in the sensational Rishikesh resort murder case of 2022 in which a 19-year-old receptionist was allegedly killed after “she refused to give special services to a VIP guest at the resort”. The three men were brought to the court under heavy security amid protests near the premises.
Turning down the bail plea of the resort owner and main accused Pulkit, the court charged him with “murder, sexual harassment, disappearance of evidence under sections 302, 354-A and 201 of the

IPC

, and inducing a person into prostitution under section 5(1)(d) of the Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act”. Pulkit is the son of now-expelled BJP leader Vinod Arya, who was a minister of state in the Trivendra Singh Rawat government till 2021.
Ankit Gupta and Saurabh Bhaskar, the other two accused and Pulkit’s associates in the resort, have also been charged with similar sections, excluding 354-A (sexual harassment).

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Counsel for the three accused, advocate Amit Sajwan, told TOI: "The charges were fixed by the court of additional sessions judge. The three men pleaded not guilty and requested for a court trial on the charges, following which the court set the next date of hearing on March 28. Prior to that, the court rejected the bail pleas of Pulkit and Gupta. It had earlier rejected the bail plea of Bhaskar on March 15."
The teenage girl from Pauri, who used to work as a receptionist at the resort, was allegedly murdered on September 18, 2022, by Pulkit and two associates when they pushed her off a cliff into the nearby

Chilla Barrage

. It was alleged then that days before death the girl had told a close friend that she wanted to leave the resort as the owner and other staff members were putting pressure on her to give "special services" to a VIP guest.
The girl's death set off massive protests across Uttarakhand amid charges of laxity by the original police teams investigating the case.
The three accused were arrested by Pauri Garhwal police on September 22, four days after the crime had been committed.
Accused also charged with sex abuse
Ankit Gupta and Saurabh Bhaskar, the other two accused and Pulkit’s associates in the resort, have also been charged with similar sections, excluding 354-A (sexual harassment).
Counsel for the three accused, advocate Amit Sajwan, told TOI: “The charges were fixed by the court of additional sessions judge. The three men pleaded not guilty and requested for a court trial on the charges, following which the court set the next date of hearing on March 28. Prior to that, the court rejected the bail pleas of Pulkit and Gupta. It had earlier rejected the bail plea of Bhaskar on March 15.”
The teenage girl from Pauri, who used to work as a receptionist at the resort, was allegedly murdered on September 18, 2022, by Pulkit and his two aides when they pushed her off a cliff into the nearby Chilla Barrage. It was alleged then that days before her death the girl had told a close friend that she wanted to leave the resort as the owner and other staff members were putting pressure on her to give “special services” to a VIP guest.
The girl’s death set off massive protests across Uttarakhand amid charges of laxity by the original police teams investigating the case.