In Uttarakhand, ‘murder most foul’: the Ankita Bhandari cover-up

Senior advocate Colin Gonsalves has filed a writ petition on Negi’s behalf before the Supreme Court, demanding the court oversee this investigation in order to arrive at the truth since the Uttarakhand police and bureaucracy continue to stonewall the facts.

Gonsalves’ petition highlights how key forensic evidence was destroyed when Renu Bisht and then SDM Pramod Kumar gave orders to a JCB driver to demolish Ankita’s room.

The Opposition, led by the Congress party, have been calling out the Dhami government for obfuscating facts and obstructing justice. Congress chief Karan Mahara has charged the state police of behaving more like party spokespersons than guardians of the law.

Both the Congress and the ‘Justice for Ankita’ Committee are going from village to village to highlight the manner in which justice has been deliberately denied to this young woman.

Meanwhile, Soni Devi and her husband Virendra Bhandari take a state bus every day from their village, Dobh Srikot, to Srinagar town, located 18 km away. They sit on dharna from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and in the evening, they take the bus back home.

Soni Devi is a postgraduate and worked in an anganwadi, while Virendra had a clerical job.

“I want punishment to be meted out to the murderers. This should serve as an example to others not to mistreat our daughters in this manner,” she said, while her husband added, “Why were the guilty allowed to destroy all evidence just a day after the crime? We do not have faith in the SIT investigation and want the CBI to take over the case.”

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