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SDM, MLA ordered razing of resort: Bulldozer driver | India News – Times of India


Dehradun: The driver of a bulldozer on Friday told the Pauri Garhwal trial court that the local SDM and MLA directed him to tear down parts of the plush resort in Rishikesh a day after the discovery of a 19-year-old receptionist’s body in Chilla Barrage in September last year, saying it was built illegally.
On September 27, 2022, TOI was the first to report that a bulldozer was called in by the then SDM and used to demolish a portion of the resort on the orders of the local MLA to allegedly destroy crucial evidence linked to the receptionist’s death.
However, the MLA had denied that she had asked the driver to bulldoze the resort.
The action had triggered widespread criticism, with locals saying crucial evidence at the crime scene may have been lost.
In a startling disclosure, the driver, Deepak, told the trial court that he was instructed by the then SDM Pramod Kumar to remove the main gate and boundary wall of the resort. Later, local MLA Renu Bisht ordered him to demolish the walls of two rooms, after which he bulldozed those too.
Significantly, the high court dismissed the bail petition of all three accused – Pulkit Arya, Ankit Gupta, and Saurabh Bhaskar – named in the receptionist murder case last week.

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Deepak said on September 23, 2022, he was directed by the bulldozer owner Satendra Rawat to accompany SDM Pramod Kumar to the resort. “After the initial demolition, the SDM asked me to leave, but I received a call from the MLA’s assistant upon reaching Haridwar. On returning to the resort, I found the MLA was already present there and on her instructions, I demolished the walls of the two rooms,” Deepak told the court.
During cross-examination, Deepak clarified that he received no written orders from Bisht, and media coverage captured the entire incident, emphasising that he did not interfere with any CCTV cameras.
Prosecution lawyer Awneesh Negi told TOI, “We produced the driver to support our case. It cannot be denied that the swift action of demolishing a part of the resort was done to tamper with the evidence.” Advocate Ajay Pant, representing the victim’s parents, said 33 witnesses have recorded their statements. The SIT investigating the case has made 97 people witnesses in the case.
The court has fixed the next hearing on January 5.


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