Sabrina Lall, the younger sister of murdered Delhi model Jessica Lall, died today following a prolonged illness. She was 53.
"She was not keeping well and had been in and out of the hospital. Yesterday, her condition deteriorated at home and we took her to hospital. Today, in the evening, she passed away," her brother Ranjith Lall told PTI over the phone.
Ms Lall fought an unrelenting battle against all odds to bring her sister's killer to justice. Jessica Lall was shot dead in April 1999 at an elite Delhi bar where she worked as a barmaid. Manu Sharma, also known as Siddharth Vashisht, the son of an influential MP, was identified by many as the murderer.
After a long process, during which Sabrina Lall was at the forefront of the efforts to nail the accused, Sharma was convicted and sentenced to prison.
The murder and the following investigation had sparked a furore across the country.
In an interview with popular social media handle Humans of Bombay, Sabrina Lall explained that the pressure from Sharma's family and hostile witnesses almost jeopardised the case.
"Once, Mr Manu Sharma's parents came home with a bouquet. On one hand, they were threatening witnesses, on the other, they were playing the sympathy card," she said.
In a 2020 interview with PTI, Sabrina Lall spoke about her plans to launch a foundation in memory of her sister to aid women in similar situations to get justice.
Referring to her late sister as her closest friend, she had said she missed her sister's presence in her life every day.
"She was jovial and positive in life. It is not just on birthdays and death anniversaries that I miss her, it is every day. I have lots of pictures of hers in my home and not that I need them to miss her, but they are there to remind me of her," Sabrina Lall had told PTI.
She also said she has forgiven Sharma, who walked out of jail last year following the Delhi Sentence Review Board's recommendation for his premature release from his life sentence. She had, in 2018, written to the jail authorities that she had no objection to his release.
A film, No One Killed Jessica, was made on Sabrina Lall's fight for justice.