Apna hotel murder: One month on, family awaits justice


The family of a business woman and the owner Apna hotel in Dimapur has been fighting for justice ever since she was murdered in cold blood by suspected underground group on December 16, 2015. Ritika Mehta, who was the owner of the Apna hotel in Dimapur, was shot by an armed assailant at point blank range and even after one month of the incident, very little has been done in the way of getting her family justice.

The delay in delivery of justice to the family because of the involvement of the formidable underground group has forced Ritika’s daughter Esha to run from pillar to post to try to get justice for her mother.

Esha narrated how a matter of a family land dispute was blown out of proportion when the other side involved the underground to try to scare her mother into giving up her stake in her father’s land, on which Apna Hotel now stands. In the memorandum submitted by the family to the police and the media, the family has said that they are positive Ritika was killed because she had refused to vacate the hotel building that was contructed by her late father B.S. Sharma.

“My late grandfather had developed relationship with one Limasenla Ao, who sold the building (APNA HOTEL BUILDING) without seeking consent of any family members to one T.K Angami on the ground that the patta of the land of the building was standing on her name”, Esha explained in the memorandum. ”When the supposed new owner, T.K Angamiasked my mother to vacate the building and produced an eviction order from the DC/Dimapur, my mother challenged the case at the Dimapur Civil Court. We have already won the cases two time in lower court, and the court is now placed before the High Court at Guwahati”, she said.

This was not the first time that Mehta was attacked. She had been threatened and repeatedly and two attemots had been made to take her life, after which she lodged a complaint in the East Dimapur police station. One police guard had been assigned for protection too, but Esha said that on both the occasions when he was supposed to protect her mother, he was missing in action. Unfortunately, the third attempt of the assailants succeeded and Ritika was shot dead.

Now, Esha fears for her father’s life, who has refused to leave the Dimapur, until he gets justice. “My father doesn’t know the local language properly and he is there all alone. I know they are going to try and harm him, once things settle down a bit”, Esha told us over the phone. The deed is currently is Esha’s name and things are looking very murky for the family. “Every time I call them to ask about the progress of the case, they give me vague answers. We have given them all the evidence, but they refuse to act.”

However, Esha’s determined to get justice for her mother and she is leaving no stone unturned in trying to get just that. She recently met the Minister of Home for State Kiren Rijiju in order to put some pressure on the state authorities to expedite the investigation process. The case has also generated a lot of reaction from the local NGOs and women’s groups with friends and supporters demanding Justice for Ritika. (India.com news desk)

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