In a bid to furnish strong evidence in court against suspect Chandrabhan Sanap, his “close friend” Nandkishore Sahu is likely to be made an approver, police sources said.
Sahu was not only aware that Sanap had committed the murder, but also went with him to the murder scene to locate Esther’s phone and burn her body, sources told Newsline. “After Sanap had killed the victim, he called up his close friend Sahu to tell him what he had done. Around 6:45 am, about an hour after the murder, Sanap returned to the crime scene with Sahu. Both attempted to locate Esther’s phone, but could not do so as it was a foggy morning. Sahu also helped Sanap in his bid to burn Esther’s body,” said an officer probing the case.
“There are two options for us. We can either make Sahu an approver in the case, or a star witness. We are seeking legal opinion. However, since Sahu was aware of the crime and had even gone to the spot with Sanap, we may make him an approver,” said the officer. The police would ask the state government to provide a special counsel to prosecute Sahu, city police chief Rakesh Maria said.
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According to police, Sahu owned the motorcycle used by Sanap to take Esther to an isolated spot off the service road of the Thane-bound lane of the Eastern Express Highway at Bhandup, where she was allegedly murdered.
Officers said Sahu ran a gambling den at his shanty in Kanjurmarg. Following the crime, Sahu had shifted to his native place in Jharkhand, from where he was flown to the city Monday afternoon.
“Sahu has been brought to the city by flight only this afternoon, and we will interrogate him thoroughly before we decide on whether to arrest him. We are also probing whether he has any past criminal record,” said an officer.