Following controversy and outrage over a Facebook post by an RSS office-bearer, who blamed the father and brother of Ankita Bhandari for her murder, the Uttarakhand Police have registered an FIR against the RSS leader.
The FIR has been registered against Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh Vibhag Prachar Pramukh for the Haridwar and Rishikesh area, Vipin Karnwal, at the Raiwala police station in Dehradun. Karnwal was booked under sections 153 A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc., and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony), and 509 (word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman) of the IPC and Section 66 of the Information Technology (IT) Act.
“The FIR is registered against Karnwal on the complaint of one Vijay Pal. Karnwal had made objectionable statements in connection to the Ankita murder case. We are investigating the matter and appropriate action will be taken based on that,” said CO Rishikesh, Dinesh Chandra Dhoundiyal.
Uttarakhand Women’s Commission has also issued a notice to the RSS member.
In the now-deleted Facebook post, Karnwal had written that the biggest culprit is her father who he said had put ‘raw milk in front of hungry cats’.
After the massive outrage on social media and demands for his arrest, Karnwal apologised and said people should understand his feelings and that he was talking only from a security point of view.
“Whatever happened with Ankita is wrong. I said some things only from a security point of view, and if someone is finding another meaning, then it is wrong. The actual meaning (of the statement) should be understood. Still, if I have hurt anyone’s feelings, I am sorry for it…,” said Karnwal.
“The daughter was working there and everybody knows what kind of things were going on there. Keeping that in mind, she should not have worked there. The words I used are being seen in the wrong light. I did not mean anything wrong. Ankita is our sister,” he added.
Reacting to the post by Karnwal, Congress spokesperson Garima Dausani said Karnwal has exposed the reality of the RSS and BJP. “It is very good that he made the post. Because the people should know their truth, that how disturbed their thinking is. They are exposing themselves and what could be better than that? We kept saying that the RSS and BJP do not respect women’s power. They only say such things from stages. Today, an RSS man himself exposed this,” said Dasani.
Bhandari’s body was recovered from a canal on September 24 six days after she allegedly went missing from the resort owned by a former BJP minister’s son in the Laxman Jhula area of the hill state. She worked as a receptionist at the resort.
The BJP leader’s son Pulkit Arya, resort manager Saurabh Bhaskar, and assistant manager Ankit Gupta have been arrested in connection with her murder.