Ankita Bhandari murder | Bandh demanding CBI probe gets mixed response in Uttarakhand

The bandh was near total in Bhandari's home district Pauri, where almost all the shops remained closed and traffic was thin.

October 02, 2022 05:20 pm | Updated 05:20 pm IST - Dehradun

A placard held by a Uttarakhand Aam Aadmi Party member during a protest against the killing of Ankita Bhandari, in New Delhi, on September. 28, 2022.

A placard held by a Uttarakhand Aam Aadmi Party member during a protest against the killing of Ankita Bhandari, in New Delhi, on September. 28, 2022. | Photo Credit: PTI

A Statewide bandh called by the Uttarakhand Kranti Dal on Sunday to demand a CBI probe into the Ankita Bhandari murder case evoked a mixed response.

Many shops in the main market areas in Dehradun remained shut while several other establishments remained open for business as usual.

Some shop owners who had opened their business in the morning downed the shutters when bandh supporters descended on the streets shouting slogans and asked them to shut shops in solidarity.

"It is not a political fight. It is a fight to ensure the safety of our daughters. So, everyone should support the bandh," a woman protester said.

The bandh was near total in Bhandari's home district Pauri, where almost all the shops remained closed and traffic was thin.

Market areas in Kotdwar, Srinagar and Pauri also wore a deserted look. Jeeps and taxis meant for local commute went completely off the roads in the border district of Chamoli.

Only roadways buses and the ones engaged for transporting pilgrims to Badrinath and Kedarnath were seen plying.

Apart from the suspension of vehicular traffic, commercial establishments also remained closed in Pindar valley in Chamoli district.

Bhandari, who worked as a receptionist at a resort in Yamkeshwar block of Pauri district, was killed allegedly by its owner Pulkit Arya, manager Saurabh Bhaskar and assistant manager Ankit Gupta when she resisted their attempts to force her to offer "extra services" to a VIP guest.

Kashi Singh Airi, central president of the Uttarakhand Kranti Dal which had also spearheaded the movement for a separate state, said the manner in which the probe is being conducted suggests that the police are under pressure to protect influential people.

The bandh supporters accused the Special Investigation Team probing the case of not disclosing the identity of the VIP guest for whom Bhandari was pressured to offer "extra services".

"A CBI probe is necessary to bring out the truth," Airi said.

Security has been tightened in view of the bandh with heavy deployment of police personnel in main market areas.

The bandh received the support of nearly 40 political and social organisations, including the Congress, CPI, CPI(ML), and Rajya Andolankari Sanyukt Samiti.

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