DR LALIT KUMAR Saxena and his family took heart from Sunday’s newspaper headlines. There was relief and vindication that their son-in-law Anurag Johri, a Lucknow-born PhD student at a British university, was sentenced to life imprisonment for battering their daughter Deepti Anurag (Divya) to death with a baseball bat.
Dr Saxena said: “I’m satisfied that the Birmingham Crown Court has convicted Anurag within 10 months of the murder. Let’s hope my daughter’s soul rests in peace now.”
“She got married on January 2001. In August 2003, they left for the UK, as Anurag had to pursue higher studies. Divya got a job as an office assistant at a university. She was doing extremely well and perhaps this made her husband a bit jealous. This is our perception,” he added.
How did Divya become Deepti? Dr Saxena, who is with Balrampur Hospital, said: “Divya was asked to change her name after marriage by either her in-laws or her husband.” She last visited her parents at their Indira Nagar residence on July 2005 and spent 15 days with them. He recalled she occasionally talked about her differences with Anurag.
“About a couple of months later, her husband also came to town for a few days. But we had no clue about the extent to which their relationship had deteriorated. My daughter never complained about it. She used to say she was financially independent and the family need not worry about her,” he said. On the other hand, Anurag’s house in Aliganj wore a deserted look.
The news of life imprisonment had left the family shattered, added a close friend. His father was in Haridwar, while his mother and his younger brother Alok were in Aliganj. Alok said Anurag was suffering from depression and Dr Ajay Kohli was treating him. “The jury took my version three days ago through video-conferencing. They also wanted to record Dr Kohli’s statement. But the doctor refused to oblige them,” he said.
Alok added: “Had the doctor given his version, the court may have reduced the sentence.”