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Search operations off,Gurgaon woman’s family says husband has gone ‘missing’

Six days after former airhostess Neha Chhikara allegedly jumped off a cruise ship on the New Year’s Eve,the US authorities called off the search operations late on Tuesday night (according to Indian time).

Written by Tanushree Roy Chowdhury | Gurgaon |
January 7, 2010 12:11:14 am

Six days after former airhostess Neha Chhikara allegedly jumped off a cruise ship on the New Year’s Eve,the US authorities called off the search operations late on Tuesday night (according to Indian time).

This comes amid reports on Wednesday that Neha’s husband Ankit Dalal has gone “missing” after the cruise liner Royal Caribbean Cruise docked in Miami,USA.

The 23-year-old’s family in Gurgaon has lodged a complaint against her husband and in-laws,accusing them of harassing Neha for dowry,which,they claim,eventually led her to take the extreme step.

Neha’s cousin Atul Ahlawat today claimed the Dalal family knows Ankit’s whereabouts: “Whenever we asked them when Ankit would return,they would tell us he was on his way to India.

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“If he manages to escape from there,he might go scot-free.”

Dalal worked as a manager with the luxury liner; Neha,too,had taken up work in the ship last month. She jumped off the ship’s 12th deck on New Year’s Eve when the ship was near the Bahamas,as per the liner’s footage.

Her family claims Neha had complained of physical torture by her husband in an e-mail sent to her brother hours before she allegedly jumped off.

Gurgaon Police Commissioner S S Deswal today said the case might get transferred to the state investigation bureau soon. He also said the Gurgaon police,after registering a case of dowry harassment against the Dalals at Sector 17/18 police station,are yet to interrogate the family — Ankit’s father and Gurgaon Civil Hospital Chief Medical Officer Dr S S Dalal,his mother and sister.

Asked why the family has not been interrogated yet,Deswal said the police are waiting for “evidence” and “statements” from the Chhikaras. “We have constituted a team to look into the matter,” Deswal said. “The investigating officer visited the Chhikaras’ Sector-17 house in the last couple of days to take statements from the family but it seems they are yet to come to terms with the incident.”

But Neha’s brother Anuj Chhikara said the family members gave statements to the police each time they came to the house.

Neha’s cousin Atul Ahlawat,who is an advocate,claimed the police’s delaying tactics might force the family to move the Punjab and Haryana High Court in Chandigarh.

Meanwhile,Gurgaon Primary Medical Officer Dr Khazan Singh said Dr Dalal has gone on leave till January 15,and deputy CMO Dr Vijay Singhal is in charge at present.

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First published on: 07-01-2010 at 12:11:14 am

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