The son of senior BJP leader Vinod Arya, Pulkit Arya, has been arrested for the murder of a 19-year-old woman from Pauri Garhwal who worked at a resort he owns in Yamkeshwar, Rishikesh, Haridwar district. He had reported her missing on Monday, along with her family, but it was later revealed that he had killed her with the help of two staff members, who have also been arrested, police said.
The body has yet to be found – a search was made in the Cheela Canal, a nearby water canal – and police are investigating the motive.
State Police Chief Ashok Kumar explained: “The first FIR was registered by the owner of the resort (Pulkit Arya) and the family of the woman. In Uttarakhand we have a system of the patwari (Land Revenue Officer) who records FIRs. It was registered there because the area (where the woman lived) is not covered by the regular police stations.”
Addressing allegations of delay in action, he said: “Once the matter was handed over to us, we resolved it within 24 hours – the resort owner appeared to have been charged. Further investigation is underway.”
Police acted quickly after the news went viral on social media and named her family Pulkit Arya, whose father Vinod Arya currently holds the rank of minister of state without a post in the government. He previously served as a minister and remained chairman of Uttarakhand Mati Kala Board, a government organization for the kumhar (potters) community.
In addition to Pulkit Arya, resort manager Saurabh Bhaskar and assistant manager Ankit Gupta have been arrested, Pauri, additional superintendent of police, Shekhar Chandra Suyal, told PTI news agency. “At first they tried to mislead the police, but when they were questioned sternly, they confessed to the crime,” the officer said.