Three newspapers in India are reporting that a Royal Caribbean employee, Ankit Dalal, abused his wife, Neha Chhikara, shortly before she apparently jumped from the Royal Caribbean cruise ship Monarch of the Seas on New Year’s Eve.
Mr. Dalal is identified in a newspaper articles as a manager for Royal Caribbean on the cruise ship.
We previously reported on this story – Wife of Royal Caribbean Crew Member on Monarch of the Seas Goes OverBoard
The newspapers report Ms. Chhikara married Mr. Dalal in 2008. His family reportedly demanded additional dowry and was allegedly abusive toward her.
According to an article entitled "Air Hostess Death at Sea: Kin Cry Foul" in the Times of India, Ms. Chhikara’s husband physically and mentally tortured her for additional dowry – as alleged by Ms. Chhikara’s family. Ms. Chhikara previously worked as a flight attendant.
Ms. Chhikara’s father filed what is called a "dowry complaint" with the police in India.
The family alleges that Mr. Dalal mistreated her. "She was asked to bring cash and jewelry every now and then and when she refused, they would beat her up. Once she was beaten so badly by Dalal that her jaw got dislocated and she also lost her job as air hostess,” Atul Ahlawat, Ms. Chhikara’s cousin, alleges.
The Times of India reports that shortly before she went overboard, Ms. Chhikara emailed her family:
"I don’t think he wants me to work here on the ship . . . he keeps threatening to call up security and get me detained by US authorities so that I can never come to the US. He threatens to handcuff me and lock me up in a cell on the ship . . ."
The Tribune in India also reports that Ms. Chhikara sent what is called a SOS shortly before her death complaining of being abused. The India Express, in an article entitled "Gurgaon Woman Jumped Off Cruise Liner," also reports that an e-mail she sent an hour before her death said:
"Ankit has been beating me up every day . . . I have lost the strength to live and am very depressed. I do not think he wants me to work on this ship. He has threatened me that he would get my appointment canceled . . . I am under extreme torture . . ."
None of the newspapers were able to obtain quotes from Mr. Dalal or his family.
These articles suggest that Ms. Chhikara was about to begin work as a crew member for Royal Caribbean. Previous PR statements by this cruise line characterize Ms. Chhikara as just a "passenger." She apparently had applied to Royal Caribbean and been accepted for employment aboard a Royal Caribbean cruise ship.
This is a sad story to see a young beautiful person’s life end, under these alleged circumstances, at the beginning of a new year.