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Ankita Bhandari cremated, Uttarakhand CM Dhami assures murder trial in fast-track court

The final rites of Ankita Bhandari was performed on Sunday. The 19-year-old receptionist’s death in Uttarakhand has sparked protest across the state.

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By India Today Web Desk: Ankita Bhandari’s family performed her last rites on Sunday, a day after her body was fished from a canal in Uttarakhand. The 19-year-old girl, who worked as a receptionist at a resort in Rishikesh, was allegedly killed by her employer. Three people, including a now expelled BJP leader’s son, have been arrested in connection with the death.

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Ankita's father and brother had initially refused to perform her last rites until they get the final postmortem report. The teenager’s body was found in the Cheela canal close to Rishikesh on Saturday, six days after her parents found her missing from her room.

Meanwhile, protests continued in Uttarakhand, demanding justice for the 19-year-old girl. Here are the top developments in the story:

1) Speaking to India Today, Uttarakhand CM Pushkar Singh Dhami informed that the family of the deceased girl had agreed to hold her last rites. CM Pushkar Dhami added that the Uttarakhand government will set up a fast-track court for speedy justice. The chief minister added that the final postmortem report will be made public soon.

ALSO READ | Ankita Bhandari murder: Accused Pulkit tried to mislead her friend, reveals call record

2) Ankita’s father reached the mortuary in Srinagar a city in Uttarakhand’s Pauri Garhwal district on Sunday to take his daughter’s body for cremation. A massive crowd had gathered outside the mortuary as Ankita Bhandari’s father reached to collect her body.

3) Protests have continued across the state over the young woman’s death, with the protesters blocking the Rishikesh-Badrinath national highway for several hours in Uttarakhand's Shrinagar area on Sunday. The protesters demanded death penalty for the perpetrators of the crime.

People block the Rishikesh-Badrinath highway in protest against the killing of Ankita Bhandari. (PTI Photo)

4) Meanwhile, expelled BJP leader Vinod Arya, father of the prime accused in the alleged murder case of 19-year-old resort receptionist Ankita Bhandari, defended his son as a “seedha sadha balak” (simple boy). Claiming that his son is innocent, former BJP leader Vinod Arya said, "My son is a seedha sadha balak and is only concerned about his work. I want justice for both my son Pulkit and the murdered girl."

5) In the latest development, India Today accessed a couple of phone recordings pertaining to the murder case. Ankit, one of the accused in the case, reportedly spoke to Ankita Bhandari’s friend, who was anxious about her whereabouts after her phone was switched off. The accused, who allegedly returned to the resort after pushing Ankita into the canal, had told her informed her that she had returned to the resort as well.

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ALSO READ | Ankita Bhandari murder: Resort's videography done, says U'khand cop after family questions demolition

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