On Thursday, the single bench of senior justice Sanjay Kumar Mishra heard a petition seeking a CBI probe into the murder of Bhandari, a 19-year-old receptionist at a resort owned by prime accused, Pulkit Arya, son of now-expelled BJP leader from Haridwar, Vinod Arya.
During the hearing, Bhandari’s mother Soni Devi and father Birendra Singh Bhandari submitted a prayer letter in the court urging justice for their daughter. The letter read, “The SIT is showing negligence in the investigation. The probe should be handed over to the CBI. The government is trying to save a VIP in this case from the very beginning. The factory adjoining the resort was also torched last Sunday to destroy evidence, as a lot more evidence related to the case could have been found there. Local residents said that they saw blood stains in the factory. The government even transferred the district officer to protect someone.”
Bhandari’s relative Ashutosh Negi had filed the petition on October 20, alleging that the SIT and police were “hiding important evidence in the case.” Negi alleged that they were also being pressured to withdraw the case.
According to the petition, the postmortem examination report of Bhandari had not been made public by the SIT yet. It mentioned that the police got the teenager’s autopsy done without the presence of any woman. “This is against the orders of the Supreme Court. While getting the medical exam done, according to the apex court’s directions, it was necessary to have a woman present. Also, Pulkit Arya was in her room at 6 pm on the day she was murdered. There has been misconduct with Ankita, which the police are not accepting and are covering up instead. Therefore, this case should be investigated by the CBI,” the plea said.