Former BJP leader Vinod Arya, the father of the prime accused in Uttarakhand receptionist’s murder case, today described his son Pulkit Arya as a Seedha sadha balak (a simple boy).
Vinod Arya denied all allegations against Pulkit Arya and claimed his son was innocent.
“Seedha sadha balak hai (he is a simple boy). He is only concerned about his work. I want justice for both my son Pulkit and the murdered woman,” Mr Arya said.
“He would never indulge in such activities,” he added.
Mr Arya said Pulkit had been living separately from them for a long time.
His remarks come a day after the BJP expelled him and his son Ankit Arya, the accused’s brother, amid massive outrage over the 19-year-old woman’s murder.
Mr Arya, however, claimed, that he himself resigned from the party yesterday to ensure a fair and impartial investigation in the case.
“Pulkit is innocent, still I have resigned from the BJP to ensure a fair investigation. My son Ankit has also resigned,” he said.
Pulkit Arya, who owned the resort in Rishikesh where the woman worked as a receptionist, was arrested on Friday along with resort manager Saurabh Bhaskar and assistant manager Ankit Gupta.
Investigation based on the questioning of the accused and the woman’s mobile chat history reveal that she was pressured to provide “special services” to guests at the resort, which she resisted, said state police chief Ashok Kumar.
“Days before she went missing, the woman had sent WhatsApp messages to her close friend sharing her ordeal,” he said. “They are trying to turn me into a prostitute,” read one of her messages.
The three men allegedly thrashed the girl and pushed her into a canal near the resort after an argument, sources said.
Earlier, a Facebook friend of the woman had reportedly said that his friend was killed because she refused to have sex with guests at the resort for which she was offered Rs 10,000.
Mr Kumar said that a Special Investigation Team (SIT), headed by Deputy Inspector General of Police Renuka Devi, is now probing the matter, and the police will ensure that the accused get “strictest possible punishment” for the gruesome crime.
The SIT was formed following a directive by Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami who has promised “the harshest action” in the case – no matter who is involved.
Police recovered the woman’s body from the Chilla canal in Rishikesh on Saturday morning. The draft autopsy report has revealed that the woman died due to drowning, and that she had blunt force trauma.
As details of her murder emerged, violent protests broke out around the resort in Rishikesh with locals breaking glass panes and some trying to torch a pickle factory on its premises.
An angry mob also attacked the police car when the accused men were being taken to a court on Friday.