The Mumbai Police Crime Branch has recorded statements of two priests from Nashik and Trimbakeshwar, whom rape and murder accused Chandrabhan Sanap allegedly consulted after committing the crime. The priests have reportedly told the police that Sanap was “extremely scared” when he met them.
Sanap was arrested by the Crime Branch on March 1 in connection with the rape and murder of a software engineer working in Mumbai. She was found dead in Bhandup on January 16. Sanap, who offered to drop her at her hostel in Andheri, took her to Bhandup instead, the police said.
“We have traced and recorded the statements of the two priests that Sanap met in Nashik and Trimbakeshwar. Their statements are significant as they will also help us establish the movements of the accused after the commission of the crime,” said Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) Sadanand Date.
Date added that their statements corroborated the claims made by Sanap in his interrogation, and that they both said Sanap was extremely scared when he met them.
According to Sanap’s confession, he fled the city on January 5, the day he allegedly committed the crime, and went to Nashik, where he consulted one of the two priests. “He subsequently went to Trimbakashwar and met the second priest, who told him that he was under the influence of the inauspicious kaal sarp yog, and Sanap then performed some religious rites to escape the influence,” the police said.
The police have also subjected Sanap to psychological evaluation and potency tests, and the reports are awaited.
Meanwhile, the search for the victim’s laptop, which Sanap claims to have thrown off a moving train on his way to Mumbai from Nashik, has still not yielded any results. Sanap has told the police that he opened the laptop and was alarmed on seeing his face on the screen – a result of a software called Veriface that the victim had installed on the laptop – and threw it off the train in the river between Khadavli and Titwala.
Since last week, divers have been searching for the laptop in the river. On Tuesday, an 80-member team of police personnel scanned the area within a 4 km radius of the river, but failed to trace it, the police said.
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