“The reason why I am here is because of my sister. Because Anissia wanted a baby brother. She literally forced my parents to have another child. In a way, I’d say in an ironic manner, maybe for this very day she needed me to be there for her.”
34-year-old Karan Batra says it’s time for him to step up and take charge of the matter, following his elder sister, Anissia Batra’s, untimely death on 13 July last year.
As it rained heavily, Anissia, a 39-year-old air-hostess with a German airline, allegedly jumped off the roof of her Panchsheel Park home in Delhi. While her death has been widely reported as a suicide, her family believes it to be murder. They say that Anissia was emotionally and physically abused by her husband, Mayank Singhvi, and her in-laws, RS Singhvi and Sushma Singhvi.
On the eve of her death, Karan spoke to The Quint about the year it has been and the ongoing trial. The police booked Anissia’s husband and in-laws under Sections 304B (dowry death), 498A (cruelty by husband and relatives) and 34 (furtherance of common intention) of the IPC. While her in-laws are out on bail, her husband is still in custody in Tihar.
What troubles you most about the ongoing case?
It’s going to be a year. The charge sheet was filed in October. We still have not gone to trial and before trial, there’s a basic thing known as arguments on charge, where they need to finalise under which Section will it (the trial) happen. But hearings go on the fact that she would go out… she this, she that. It is really sad that today, even though my sister is not there, she literally has to still fight for a character certificate just so that she can get a fair trial.
Lots of people have repeatedly said, ‘If Anissia was being assaulted why did she just not leave?’
In hindsight, my sister had adopted a dog (Zo) from a shelter. It was during that period that my sister did not know what to do with Zo because he (Mayank Singhvi) had started saying that ‘I will not let you take Zo.’ It delayed her whole process because she was like ‘What do I do? I need to figure it out.’ It was just a waste of time, which unfortunately led to this event.
So, where is Zo now?
Mayank’s family did not let us take Zo. They gave him away elsewhere. However, after a long battle, Zo was eventually adopted by my parents and we have taken him to Chandigarh. I would say Zo has really brought in this zeal, this happiness in my parents’ life because their life now revolves around him. It’s sad that because of him, somewhere, things got delayed, but we can’t blame him because he is this animal who was there with her, when perhaps she felt the most lonely.