Hours after the Mumbai police claimed to have cracked the murder of TCS software engineer Esther Anuhya (23), her father, S J S Prasad, questioned the police’s version of the sequence of events, saying they seemed to be trying to “close the case in whatever manner and at whatever cost”.
The police claim that the arrested suspect, Chandrabhan Sanap (28), convinced Esther to get on his motorbike, offering her to drop her to her hostel in Andheri for Rs 300. They claim that while Esther had her reservations after discovering that he had a bike and not a four wheeler, Sanap eventually won her confidence by offering his cellphone number as well as the licence plate number of the bike.
Prasad said that Esther, who was intelligent and guarded and had been staying on her own in Mumbai for the last year-and-a-half, would not have simply trusted a stranger who, according to the police’s own version, had reached LTT in the morning after drinking all night.
“My daughter would definitely have not gone with some stranger who offered to drop her on his bike. She was very cautious in her ways and would not trust anyone in this way. Moreover, she had a trolley bag weighing 10 kg and a backpack weighing six kg with her, and knew very well how unsafe it was to ride pillion along with that kind of luggage,” Prasad told The Indian Express. He also wondered how it was possible for Sanap ride his bike alone along with 16 kgs of luggage after allegedly committing the crime.
“The entire story seems to have been concocted and I can only believe it if the police back it up with proof, like if they recover her belongings and show them to me. I will be expressing my concerns and my questions to the police. If after that they still want to close the case in whatever manner and at whatever cost, what can we do? My daughter is gone,” he said.
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Prasad had also raised doubts about the case in the past, saying he had specifically instructed Esther not to step out of the station premises before daylight, as it would be unsafe, and had said he could not understand why she still stepped out.