Over a year ago, the father of 24-year-old Esther Anuhya had promised to himself that he would never set foot in the city that took his daughter away from him. On Tuesday, when Chandrabhan Sanap was convicted of rape and murder of Esther, a techie from Andhra Pradesh working in Mumbai, her father, S J S Prasad, kept his promise.
“I had cried in the wilderness where my daughter’s body was found, and had sworn not to come back to Mumbai. I came back only once to depose in the trial,” Prasad told The Indian Express over the phone from his hometown Machilipatnam in Andhra Pradesh.
Prasad did not come to Mumbai when Sanap was arrested. The Crime Branch eventually sent an officer to Machilipatnam to talk to him about the case after Sanap’s arrest.
Prasad said while nothing could bring his daughter back, the news of conviction was heartening. “For nearly two years, people have been asking me about the status of the case, and all I told them was that we have to wait and watch. After today, I can at least have a definite answer to tell them. Most of them had told me that the system could not be relied upon, and that I should be ready for disappointment. I personally had faith in the system, having seen how much time and effort the police put into the case,” said Prasad.
“I can finally start paying attention to my younger daughter. She has completed her studies and is looking for a job,” he added.
Prasad said he wanted maximum punishment for Sanap, hoping it would send out a strong message so that no other parent has to suffer like him.
For the man who was his daughter’s best friend, the journey has not been an easy one. When Esther went missing, Prasad didn’t find police’s reaction to her disappearance satisfactory. Police initially told him that she might have eloped. Ultimately, he managed to find her last known location from the mobile phone service provider. It was Bhandup. He put together a search party, and finally spotted a partially burnt and decomposed body on January 16, 2013, which turned out to be Esther’s.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines