Uttarakhand: Journalist who sought ‘justice’ in murder case ‘involving BJP leader’ arrested

Local journalist Ashutosh Negi has been booked under the SC/ST Act.

WrittenBy:NL Team
Date:
Journalist Ashutosh Negi and illustration of Uttarakhand's map.

The Uttarakhand police have arrested local journalist Ashutosh Negi, who has been reporting on and protesting to seek justice in the 2022 Ankita Bhandari murder case involving a BJP leader’s son, Indian Express reported.   

The editor at Hindi newspaper Jago Uttarakhand has reportedly been booked under Sections of the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act and sent to 15-day judicial custody. Uttarakhand DGP Abhinav Kumar told Indian Express that Negi’s intentions are “suspected” and that his agenda does not align with seeking justice, but “aims to sow anarchy and discord in society”.     

In September 2022, 19-year-old Bhandari, who worked as a receptionist at former BJP state minister Vinod Arya’s son Pulkit Arya’s Vanantra Resort, was allegedly pushed into a canal by Pulkit after an argument. Local news portals said, her parents and local residents have been protesting for over eight days in Uttarakhand’s Srinagar district to reiterate their demand for justice.    

The Congress called the journalist’s arrest the BJP-led government’s attempt to “suppress the voice of the common man”. Meanwhile, BJP state media in-charge Manveer Singh Chauhan reportedly said the arrest is unrelated to the murder case. 

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