By: Santoshee Gulabkali Mishra
During an off-the cuff conversation with a Railway Protection Force (RPF) official, the arrested suspect Chandrabhan Sanap’s sister had alerted the police to the possibility that her brother could be involved in Esther Anuhya’s murder case, Sanap’s aunt revealed Tuesday.
Sanap used to stay in Nashik with his third wife and 14-month-old daughter, while his father Sudam and siblings Sunita and Indrabhan stay in Kanjurmarg. Sanap would visit them off and on. Sunita runs a mess, catering especially to RPF officials, in the Shri Sai Co-operative Housing Society in Karve Nagar, Kanjurmarg, where the family stays. She was, therefore, in touch with RPF officials daily.
Speaking to Newsline, Sanap’s aunt Meerabai said, “Around 15 days ago, the Crime Branch had picked up Indrabhan, who works as a coolie. He is very simple and only interested in his work. Sunita was worried about Indrabhan, and while discussing this with an RPF official who had come to eat at the mess, she told him Chandrabhan had also been missing since January 5 and that she suspected his involvement in the murder.”
“Sunita’s statement turned out to be a valuable lead. The RPF official informed his superiors about it, which led to Chandrabhan’s arrest, with the help of the CCTV footage in which he was seen with Esther,” a senior officer who is part of the investigation said.
The Sanap family has been staying in Karve Nagar for the last 30 years. They earlier lived in a slum near the Kanjurmarg railway station and got their current residence under a Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA) scheme.
A close relative of Chandrabhan, who did not wish to be named, said, “Chandrabhan came home early in the morning after the crime. He was scolded by all in the family, as everyone knew about his habitual robberies. He was asked immediately to go away, so he left for the Bhokni village, which is six kilometres from Nashik.”