Esther Anuhya rape and murder case: Know how Sanap wooed her

  • A Mumbai sessions court on Friday sentenced Chandrabhan Sanap to death for the rape and murder of software engineer Esther Anuhya in January last year. Anuhya, who hailed from Hyderabad and worked in a Mumbai firm, was found dead off the Eastern Express Highway after she arrived at the Lokmanya Tilak Terminus on January 5, 2014.

    Special Women’s Court judge Vrushali Joshi, who had convicted Sanap of raping and murdering the Hyderabad-based techie on Tuesday, pronounced the sentence against the 29-year-old accused.

  • EVENTS OF THE INCIDENTS                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        
  • It was on January 5, 2014 that Sanap met Esther at LTT, after she alighted from the train at around 5 am that brought her back to Mumbai after her Christmas break in Hyderabad.
  • Sanap offered to drop her to her hostel in Andheri. They negotiated and decided that she would pay him Rs 300 for the ride. Footage of the negotiations has been caught on the CCTV cameras installed on LTT premises.
  • When Esther emerged from LTT, she realised that Sanap did not have a taxi or an auto, but a bike. She refused to sit on the bike. The accused told her to take down his mobile phone number and even give his bike’s plate number to his relatives. But since she did not have any call balance left on her phone, Esther did not make an actual call, but only pretended to call her family members and pass on the details. So an actual call never happened.
  • While they crossed Sahkar Talkies and reached the Eastern Express Highway near Kanjurmarg, Sanap stopped the bike on the pretext of having run out of petrol, and parked the vehicle on the service road.
  • It was foggy at around 5.40 am, and Sanap dragged Esther to the bushes nearby. He tried to rape her, but she defended herself fiercely. In the struggle that ensued, he knocked her head several times on the stones nearby, and then strangled her with a dupatta.
  • He fled the scene after grabbing her bag and a strolley which contained her laptop and other belongings. Sanap was arrested from Nashik on March 3 and charged with the crime.
  • Meanwhile, unable to communicate with Esther, her anxious father, Jonathan Prasad lodged a missing person complaint with Vijayawada Railway Police before coming to Mumbai and lodging another complaint with the Kurla Railway Police.
  • Mumbai Police recovered a charred and decomposed body in Kanjurmarg on January 16. Esther’s identity was established on the basis of a ring she was wearing.
  • Later, Sanap was arrested and the Special Public Prosecutor Raja Thakare examined 39 witnesses, including two who said they had seen the accused and the victim together. This clinched the case against Sanap.
  • Mumbai Police spokesperson Dhananjay Kulkarni said on Friday that the prosecution successfully secured the conviction under all sections of the law under which the accused was tried.