Ankita Bhandari Murder Case: Is the Public Prosecutor Colluding with the Accused? Know What the Family Said
Image Courtesy: PTI
The role of governance and administration in Uttarakhand's famous Ankita Bhandari murder case has been under question since the beginning. Now again, Ankita's father, Virendra Bhandari, has accused the Special Public Prosecutor, who is appearing on behalf of the government, of weakening the case. Ankita's father questioned the intention of public prosecutor Jitendra Rawat and demanded his removal from the case. Along with this, by writing a letter to the District Magistrate (DM), an ultimatum has also been given till Wednesday, June 7. If no action is taken against the lawyer even after this, he and the villagers will stage a dharna at the DM office on Thursday, June 8.
Ankita's mother, Soni Devi and father, Virendra Bhandari, in an exclusive telephone conversation with NewsClick, spoke about their pain and struggle for justice for their daughter. These are the words of a grieving family who lost everything along with losing their daughter. The Bhandari couple is currently facing mental and financial problems. Every day in this fight for justice, they again stand up for their beloved daughter even after breaking down.
Soni Devi says, “Our daughter was everything to us; after she is gone, nothing is left in the house anyway. But right now, we definitely have hope of justice for her, which we will not let break under any circumstances. We are insignificant people, and criminals are very influential. Nevertheless, no matter how much struggle we face, we will not back down in this fight. Because we don't want what happened to us to happen to any other parent."
The public prosecutor is trying to mislead the family and mislead the witnesses
Regarding the government lawyer, Ankita's mother says he has been misleading them since the beginning. “Things like not disclosing any information related to the case correctly and calling us to court many kilometres away from the village, despite the judge not being present in the court, were there from the beginning. But now, the statements of many witnesses are also being twisted, which is being seen as a way to save criminals,” she said.
Accusing the public prosecutor of colluding with criminals, Ankita's father, Virendra, says, “The public prosecutor is twisting the statements. The witnesses directly talk about continuous misbehaviour with Ankita, but the public prosecutor is not placing these facts before the court.” He says that he will reveal these things further according to his own opinion, but the half-baked statements of the witnesses are weakening the case. Apart from this, the lawyer's family is circulating objectionable videos related to the Ankita murder case on YouTube, which is like hurting the dignity of the girl child.
Family struggling with mental and financial problems
According to Virendra, the government lawyer neither tells him anything regarding the hearing proceedings nor does he pick up his phone. He had some conversation related to this case, in which the lawyer said in powerful words, 'Have I taken the entire contract of this case?'. Virendra also complains that his daughter Ankita fought till the end for her self-respect, but the public prosecutor is not refraining from saying inappropriate things about her. The witnesses in the court are being misled by their words. Efforts are being made to save the accused by ignoring the main issue.
On the economic condition of the house, Ankita's mother says she has no support, nor is she getting any government help. Ankita's father cannot even go to earn due to the case and hearing. They also have a son, who is entangled in all these matters. There is unemployment in the house, and they can barely afford to buy food.
She says Ankita's dreams were huge. She wanted to take care of herself as well as her family and wanted to do something but never wanted to bow down, so she was killed. She wants the culprits of Ankita to be given the harshest punishment, and for the rest of the girls who go to work, their safety is ensured.
Allegations of defaming the family and suppressing the seriousness of the matter
Ankita's relatives also accuse the administration of deliberately suppressing the seriousness of the matter. According to them, since influential people are involved in this case, false rumours are being spread against the family. Many people are saying that they have a considerable amount of money from the government and their son got a government job, and these people are trying to escalate the matter out of greed. But the truth is quite the opposite. The present condition of Ankita's family is disturbing. Her father has recently undergone an operation, and her brother has missed his studies. No one has any employment and no savings at present. Despite this, they courageously fight for Ankita, calling courage enormous support. But as time passes, the patience of Ankita's family is also breaking.
Significantly, 19-year-old Ankita was the receptionist at Vanantara Resort in the Laxman Jhula area. Ankita was last seen with Pulkit Arya at the resort on September 18, 2022, while her body was recovered by the police six days later on September 24 from Shakti Canal near Chilla Power House. During this, the main accused, Pulkit, had also filed a missing report of Ankita in the Revenue Department to show himself clean. Ankita's family members had alleged that the revenue police first got hold of the case and kept sitting. Later, on September 22, the matter was handed over to the regular police. The charge sheet has been filed in this case, and the case is in the court.
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