A 23-year old woman and wife of a crew member onboard an American cruise ship went missing under mysterious circumstances on December 31.
The parents of Neha Chhikara have alleged that she had committed suicide by jumping off from deck 11 of the cruise ship somewhere in the Bahamian seas after being allegedly thrashed the same night by her husband, who, too, was sailing.
Her family said that about an hour before the woman disappeared, she had also e-mailed a letter to her brother in Gurgaon stating that her husband had beaten her up and she was very depressed.
“Ankit has been beating me everyday on the ship...he gets impulses n gets fine next moment….but today he has beaten me up to bones…sooooo badly… my cheeks are swollen …I have lost the strength to live completely…I am very depressed…
I am under extreme torture,” she wrote in her email to her brother Anuj at 3.00 am on December 31 (USA time).
Suresh Chhikara, a merchant navy executive and Neha’s father, has filed a criminal complaint against her husband Ankit Dalal and his family at the Sector-18 police station in Gurgaon.
He has alleged that the Dalal family harassed and beat her up constantly for dowry and forced her to take the extreme step of committing suicide.
“Neha had to quit her job as an airhostess four months after her marriage on October 5, 2008. From the very next day of the marriage, the Dalal family started harassing her for dowry,” he claimed.
Chhikara, a resident of Sector 17, Gurgaon, claimed that the CCTV footage of Royal Caribbean's Monarch of the Seas cruise ship showed that Neha jumped off from deck 11 at 4.11 am on January 1.
“The ship was on a five-night cruise, sailing from Port Canaveral. I received a message from Dr Dalal at 11.00 p.m. (IST) on December 31 that Neha had gone missing from the ship. But the family did not divulge any more details nor did they gave us the contact number of Ankit Dalal,” he said.
“Dr. Dalal also cautioned us from filing a police report and threatened that he had contacts with top police officials. My son Anuj found out from his email inbox that Neha had sent him an email at 1.21 on January 1,” he added.
Neha’s father-in-law Dr S.S. Dalal did not take calls despite repeated attempts and was not available for comment.
He is reported to be a relative of a top Haryana IPS official. Gurgaon police commissioner S.S. Dalal said that the incident had occurred onboard the ship.
"Neha perhaps fell into the sea. We are looking into the matter," he added.
The police said they are investigating the matter.