Uttarakhand receptionist case | Draft autopsy report says teen died due to drowning; family refuses to conduct last rites

The details of injuries and other findings will be given in the final report, said the draft.

September 25, 2022 10:59 am | Updated 06:04 pm IST - Dehradun

People block the Rishikesh-Badrinath highway in protest against the killing of Ankita Bhandari at Srinagar in Pauri Garhwal district, on September 25, 2022.

People block the Rishikesh-Badrinath highway in protest against the killing of Ankita Bhandari at Srinagar in Pauri Garhwal district, on September 25, 2022. | Photo Credit: PTI

The family of a 19-year-old woman receptionist who was killed in Uttarakhand allegedly by her employer refused on September 25 to conduct her last rites until they get the final postmortem details, even as a preliminary report said she died due to drowning.

The draft report released by the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Rishikesh, also said antemortem injuries (injuries before death) have been found on Ankita Bhandari's body, suggestive of a blunt force trauma. However, she died of drowning, said the preliminary report.

Bhandari's body was recovered from the Cheela canal close to Rishikesh early on Saturday, six days after her parents found her missing from her room. The postmortem was conducted by a four-member team of doctors at AIIMS on Saturday.

An illegally built resort, belonging to Pulkit Arya, after it was partially demolished by authorities overnight, in Pauri Garhwal district on September 24, 2022.

An illegally built resort, belonging to Pulkit Arya, after it was partially demolished by authorities overnight, in Pauri Garhwal district on September 24, 2022. | Photo Credit: PTI

The details of injuries and other findings will be given in the final report, said the draft.

Ankita's father and brother on Sunday refused to perform her last rites until they get the final postmortem report.

"I am not satisfied with the provisional postmortem report. Her last rites will not be performed until we get the final detailed report," said her father Virendra Singh Bhandari.

 SDRF personnel recover the body of a female resort receptionist, who was murdered allegedly by the resort owner, from the Cheela canal, in Pauri Garhwal district on September 24, 2022.

SDRF personnel recover the body of a female resort receptionist, who was murdered allegedly by the resort owner, from the Cheela canal, in Pauri Garhwal district on September 24, 2022. | Photo Credit: PTI

Her brother Ajay Singh Bhandari said the provisional report is lacking in detail.

They also spoke against the demolition exercise carried out at the resort where she was working as a receptionist. "It may be an attempt to destroy evidence," Ajay said.

The woman worked at the Vanantara resort in Pauri district's Yamkeshwar block owned by Haridwar BJP leader Vinod Arya's son Pulkit Arya.

Pulkit and two other employees have been arrested in the case.

Protesters block Rishikesh-Badrinath national highway in Srinagar

Srinagar: People block the Rishikesh-Badrinath highway in protest against the killing of Ankita Bhandari, at Srinagar in Pauri Garhwal district, on Sunday, September 25, 2022.

Srinagar: People block the Rishikesh-Badrinath highway in protest against the killing of Ankita Bhandari, at Srinagar in Pauri Garhwal district, on Sunday, September 25, 2022. | Photo Credit: PTI

Meanwhile, the Rishikesh-Badrinath national highway was blocked for several hours in Uttarakhand’s Srinagar area on September 25 by people demanding justice.

As the protesters sat on a dharna on the highway on Sunday, police tried to pacify them by bringing Ankita’s father Virendra Singh Bhandari to the spot to talk to them. The protesters, however, refused to budge.

They demanded the perpetrators of the crime be hanged immediately. A section of women at the dharna site also demanded that the accused be handed over to them so that they could be punished appropriately.

Some of the protesters also said they would lift the blockade only after a written assurance from the administration of compensation and a job to Bhandari’s family.

Additional Superintendent of Police Shekhar Chandra Suyal appealed to them to end the protest, saying all necessary action was being taken against the accused.

Virendra Singh Bhandari, who was brought in to try to pacify the protesters, told the crowd that the police were cooperating with him and investigations were being carried out properly.

The protesters, however, claimed that he was making the statement under pressure from the administration.

Shops in Srinagar kept shutters down in protest against the murder.

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