Close to three months after the Mumbai police’s Crime Branch arrested alleged repeat offender Chandrabhan Sanap for the rape and murder of an Andhra Pradesh native, a chargesheet was filed against him in the Esplanade Court on Monday.
Police sources said that call data records, witness statements and reports of DNA comparison were the main components of the over 500-page chargesheet.
Meanwhile, the victim’s father said while he still had some doubts as to his daughter blindly trusting a stranger offering to drop her, the police seemed to have ample circumstantial evidence to support this theory.
The victim, a 24-year-old software engineer working with a firm in Mumbai, went missing from the Lokmanya Tilak Terminus in Mumbai early on the morning of January 5. She was last seen in CCTV footage walking with an unidentified man a short while after she reached LTT from her native place of Machilipatnam in Andhra Pradesh. Her severely decomposed body was subsequently found in Bhandup on the Eastern Express Highway on January 16. On March 2, the police
arrested Sanap from near the Kanjurmarg Railway station in Mumbai.
On Monday, the Crime Branch filed a 524-page chargesheet against Sanap, charging him with murder, abduction, rape, robbery, destruction of evidence and impersonation of a public servant under the Indian Penal Code.
“We have statements of witnesses who saw Sanap with the victim at the LTT Railway station as well as at other places. Statements have been recorded from a total of 67 witnesses, which are part of the chargesheet. Apart from this, the victim’s DNA samples have also been found from her glasses and identification card that was recovered from Sanap after his arrest,” said Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) Sadanand Date.
A Crime Branch officer said Sanap’s CDRs had established his movements on the day of the crime, right from the time that he left Kanjurmarg after drinking with his friends to the time he left for Nashik after committing the crime and trying to destroy the body. Sanap’s friend Nandkishor Sahu, whose help Sanap sought after the murder, is the Crime Branch’s key witness in the case, sources said.
“We will be applying for permission to try the case in a fast-track court,” said an officer.
Date further said that the investigation had been shown as ongoing as some parts of evidence, like the victim’s laptop computer, were still to be recovered.
The victim’s father told Newsline that he was satisfied with the speed with which the investigation was moving and hoped justice would be delivered soon.
“I can’t help but doubt the fact that my daughter blindly trusted a total stranger and went with him, but the police do seem to have ample circumstantial evidence against him,” he said.
The past five months have not been easy for the victim’s father, as the widespread coverage of the case has resulted in unwanted recognition. “Strangers stop me in the street and enquire about the status of the case. While I gather support from their strength, their enquiries also remind me of my loss. Nothing can change the fact that my daughter is gone forever,” he said.