BJP leader’s son arrested for murder of woman employee in Uttarakhand

Pulkit Arya, son of Uttarakhand senior BJP leader Vinod Arya, has been arrested for the murder of a 19-year-old woman who worked as a receptionist at his resort near Rishikesh. The resort, Vanantra, is in Yamkeshwar area, about 10 km from main town Rishikesh. 

Interestingly, he had reported her missing on Monday, as did her family, but police said it later turned out that Pulkit Arya, along with two staff members, had killed her. Those two have been arrested too.  The body is yet to be found.

Besides Pulkit Arya, resort manager Saurabh Bhaskar and assistant manager Ankit Gupta have been arrested. “Initially, they tried to mislead the police, but when interrogated sternly they confessed to the crime,” a police officer from Pauri added.

The ‘missing person’ report was filed by Pulkit Arya and the woman’s family with the local revenue official after they didn’t find her in her room on Monday morning, police said. 

“In Uttarakhand, we have a system of the patwari (land revenue official) registering FIRs where the area doesn’t have regular police stations,” state police chief Ashok Kumar told a news channel. 

“Once the case was transferred to us, we worked it out within 24 hours. Further investigation is on,” the police chief said. There have been allegations that the teenager was being forced into prostitution, but police have not confirmed it.

Police were swift after the news went viral on social media yesterday, and her family named Pulkit Arya, whose father Vinod Arya currently holds a state minister’s rank without a post in the government. He earlier served as a minister and remained chairperson of Uttarakhand Mati Kala Board, a government organisation for pottery promotion. Pulkit’s brother Ankit Arya is a BJP leader too.

Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami promised “the harshest action” no matter who’s involved. “This is a very sad incident, a very heinous crime. The police have done all the work regarding the arrest. The harshest action will be taken. Whoever the culprit is, will not be spared,” he told reporters.