Police bungling delayed arrest of suspect in techie murder

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Esther Anuhya
Mumbai, Mar 3: The man arrested for the murder of software professional Esther Anuhya could have been behind bars at least a week ago had officials at Kanjurmarg police station not handled the case ineptly, official sources said.

Chandrabhan Sanap, a history-sheeter working as a driver in Nashik, has been apprehended for the murder of the Andhra Pradesh-based techie in first week of January. The FIR with regards to the murder was registered at Kanjurmarg police station after Anuhya's decomposed body was found off the Eastern Express Highway in Bhandup (which falls under their jurisdiction) on January 16.

Anuhya went missing on January 5 after arriving by train at suburban Kurla. A missing person's complaint was registered at Kurla railway police station. According to police sources, Sanap, a former porter at Kurla, had been questioned by Kurla railway police on a number of occasions days after the victim's body was found.

"We strongly suspected Sanap's role in the case after his interrogation. However, we could not establish any substantial clues to link him to the murder," said an officer at Kurla railway police. Senior Inspector Shivaji Dhumal of Kurla police then wrote to Nishikant Tungare, his counterpart at Kanjurmarg, on February 22 sharing details about their probe.

"Kanjurmarg police, which has registered the murder case, did not take the details provided by us seriously," said the officer on condition of anonymity. Meanwhile, Crime Branch, conducting a parallel probe, approached Kurla police recently and after obtaining details zeroed in on Sanap, who was seen with Anuhya in a CCTV grab.

"Thorough tactical interrogation by Crime Branch led Sanap to confess to the crime. If the Kanjurmarg police had taken the matter seriously, the matter could have been solved at least a week ago," the sources said. Both Dhumal and Tungare were unavailable for comment. Local police had earlier faced the heat for not being able to crack the case. In fact, according to reports, it was the victim's relatives, not the police, who spotted the 23-year-old's partially burnt body.

PTI

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