Home Dehradun Harish Rawat stages dharna seeking justice in Ankita Bhandari case

Harish Rawat stages dharna seeking justice in Ankita Bhandari case


By Arun Pratap Singh

Dehradun, 26 Dec: Veteran Congress leader and former Chief Minister Harish Rawat today led a 24 hour dharna outside the Gandhi Park, here, demanding a CBI inquiry into the murder of Ankita Bhandari. He and the other Congress leaders who participated in the dharna also demanded disclosure of the names of the VIPs for whom Ankita was allegedly being pressurised to offer ‘services’.

A large number of Congress workers gathered for the dharna today and shouted slogans like, “Ankita, we are ashamed, your murderers are alive” and also raised the demand for a CBI probe into the murder case in order to ensure justice to Ankita as well as the disclosure of the names of VVIPs allegedly involved in the case.  Talking to the media persons during the dharna, Rawat claimed that the law and order situation in the state of Uttarakhand had collapsed under the BJP government. Incidents of atrocities on women were now happening on a regular basis and the entire Uttarakhand was shamed on the national stage due to the gruesome incident like the Ankita murder case.

Rawat further alleged that even after three months of the incident, the Uttarakhand government and the police administration were busy covering up the matter. He said that there appeared to be a deliberate attempt to save some major VIP on the part of the government because the BJP was afraid of the disclosure.

Rawat said that criminals are being given protection by the BJP government. The incident of the heinous crime committed against the daughter of the state, Ankita Bhandari, was an example of this.

Rawat emphasised that many serious questions remained unanswered in the Ankita murder case and it is not clear on whose orders the bulldozer was used to demolish a part of the resort. Also, who put the building adjacent to the resort on fire and why the resort had not been sealed, how the fire broke out twice in the presence of the police in the resort. He said women are feeling insecure not only in the plains of the state but also in the hill districts. Rawat said that the slogan of ‘Beti Padhao-Beti Bachao’ had remained merely an election slogan of the BJP.

He reminded that there has been an incomparable contribution of women to the Uttarakhand statehood movement and many agitationists had even sacrificed their lives in the movement. But now women are becoming victims of heinous crimes like rape and murder in the state and that this was a matter of shame for whole of Uttarakhand. He demanded that the CBI investigation of the entire episode be under the supervision of a High Court judge so that the name of the VIP could be revealed and the truth could emerge.

Former MP Pradeep Tamta, former Speaker Govind Singh Kunjwal, former Minister Hira Singh Bist, and former Minister Mantri Prasad Naithani, Organisation General Secretary Vijay Saraswat, Rajpal Kharola, Satpal Brahmachari, CPI  leader Samar Bhandari, SS Pangti, Prakash Thapliyal, former MLA Om Gopal, Surendra Agarwal, Mahanagar Congress President Jaswinder Singh Gogi, Puran Singh Rawat, Virendra Pokhriyal, Chief Spokesperson Garima Dasauni, Media Advisor Amarjit Singh were among those present at the Dharna. The Dharna will continue tomorrow also.