Uttarakhand: Who is Pulkit Arya, the Main Accused in the Receptionist's Murder?
Arya, the main accused, is the owner of Vanantra Resort, where the victim worked.
The prime accused in the murder of the 19-year-old receptionist, whose body was found in the Chilla canal in Rishikesh, Uttarakhand, is a man named Pulkit Arya, the son of Bharatiya Janata Party leader Vinod Arya.
The victim went missing on Sunday, 18 September, and her body was found five days after the incident, and after more than 24 hours of searching the canal on Saturday, 24 September.
Fuelled by protests, the accused were arrested and Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami ordered the demolition of the illegal resort, an order that was immediately implemented.
What do we know about Pulkit Arya? And how he and his co-accused tried to cover up for themselves?
Who is Pulkit Arya?
Pulkit Arya and two of his resort staff, Saurabh Bhaskar (35) and Ankit Gupta (19), were arrested on 23 September.
Arya, the main accused, is the owner of the Vanantra Resort. His father is the former chairman of Uttarakhand Mati Kala Board and the BJP Other Backward Classes (OBC) Morcha's national executive.
Ankit Arya, Pulkit's brother, was relieved by the Uttarakhand government from the post of the Deputy Chairman of the state's OBC Commission after the murder came to light.
What Has Been Revealed in the Investigation So Far?
During the interrogation, the accused told the police, after getting arrested, that there was a verbal argument between Pulkit Arya and the woman. Following which, Pulkit told the other two accused that “the girl is upset, let us take her to Rishikesh.”
Once the accused and the victim reached the Chilla canal, the argument escalated. Pulkit blamed the woman for revealing the talks between the two of them to her colleagues following which she then accused him of asking her to develop "special relations" with the guests at the resort.
The victim then threatened to tell everyone about what is happening in the resort and threw the prime accused’s phone in the canal. The three men, in an inebriated condition, assaulted the woman and pushed her in the canal, according to the police.
How Did Pulkit Arya Try to Cover Up?
Since the accused and the victim had been sighted together by the resort employees, the former decided to call the chef and asked him to prepare food for four people. Later, when the chef asked about the woman, the accused said that she was not with them.
After this, Ankit Gupta took the food from the chef and sneakily kept it in the victim's room to make it appear that she had ordered the food. However, at this point, she was already dead.
The next morning, Arya and Gupta left for Haridwar, where Arya bought a new mobile and a dummy sim of the same number. He then called another resort employee to go to the girl's room and bring her phone.
The employee complied and told them that neither the receptionist nor her phone was there. Then the accused themselves lodged a First Information Report (FIR) for the missing person and gave similar statements.
In the police investigation, however, after interrogating the resort employees, the accused confessed to the crime and informed the police about the whole incident.
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