Husband beat up Lufthansa air hostess during their honeymoon, mother alleges
Three days after 39-year-old flight attendant Anissia Batra allegedly jumped to her death from the terrace of her home in south Delhi’s Panchsheel Park, the police on Monday arrested her husband, who has been accused of harassing her for dowry.
Mayank Singhvi was arrested on Monday evening after an hour of questioning.
His wife’s family had earlier alleged lapses and laxity in the police probe.
In the first information report (FIR), Singhvi’s parents, too, have been accused of harassing Anissia, but the police said there was not enough evidence to arrest them.
Anissia’s parents have alleged that Singhvi was an abusive husband since the beginning of their marriage. However, Romil Baaniya, deputy commissioner of police (south), said that the fights in the recent months were over the proceeds of a flat that Anissia had sold recently.
Another investigator quoted Anissia’s parents, who claimed that the flat in south Delhi’s Vasant Vihar was owned by their daughter and she had sold it for Rs 1.2 crore in February. “Anissia had kept the money in her bank account, but Singhvi allegedly wanted the money. He would fight over that,” said the investigator on the condition of anonymity.
The outrage by Anissia’s parents forced the police to seek a second autopsy that was video-recorded on Monday. “We issued a look-out circular against Singhvi and his parents to ensure they did not escape, we are analysing the bank accounts of the couple and have seized their BMW car, a diamond ring and their mobile phones,” said Baaniya. A forensic team was recalled to construct the sequence leading to the death.
On Monday, Baaniya maintained that the probe so far has indicated that Anissia had “jumped” to her death and not killed as alleged by some of her relatives.
A native of Chandigarh and daughter of a retired Indian Army major general, Anissia worked for Lufthansa, a German airline.
“In February 2016, she had married Singhvi, who worked for a research firm before bagging a senior position with a real estate company. His father is a chartered accountant and the family owns two houses in Panchsheel Park,” said an investigator.
Anissia’s mother, Neelam Batra, said that Singhvi was a divorcee but had concealed it all this while. “The abuse began during the couple’s honeymoon itself. Singhvi beat her up in the room and lobby of the hotel they were staying at. She had to move to safety at a friend’s place and returned to India alone,” alleged Neelam in her complaint to the police.
Anissia’s mother also said in her complaint that the abuses continued even when the couple returned to India, despite assurances from Singhvi’s parents that it wouldn’t recur. “Singhvi would drink and beat my daughter,” she alleged.
Neelam told the police that the frequency of the fights between Anissia and Singhvi increased since April, forcing her and her husband, RS Batra, to repeatedly visit Anissia in Delhi.
“But Singhvi wanted us out of the house. Once he beat me up too — an act that left his bracelet broken. His parents would instigate him over phone,” alleged Neelam, adding that Singhvi often pressured Anissia for money.
On June 27, Anissia’s parents had visited Hauz Khas police station and submitted a letter saying that Singhvi was to be held responsible if any ill befell upon her.
On Friday morning, the couple fought again, said police. “Anissia first sent a message to her brother and a friend about the fight before sending an SMS to her husband that she was going to jump from the terrace,” said an investigator.
Singhvi told police that he rushed to the terrace, only to find the door locked from the other side.
“When he managed to open the door, he couldn’t find Anissia. He ran downstairs to be told by a labourer that a woman had jumped from the terrace,” said the DCP about Singhvi’s claims.
The police had registered a case of dowry death on Saturday and had got the autopsy conducted on Sunday.