The Mumbai Sessions court today convicted Chandrabhan Sudam Sanap (29), for raping and murdering a Hyderabad techie Esther Anuhya on January 5, 2014 at Kanjurmarg. The quantum of sentence will be pronounced tomorrow
The special women court judge Vrushali Joshi delivered the verdict. Special public prosecutor Raja Thakare examined 39 witnesses in case while the defence had three witnesses.
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It was on January 5, 2014 that Sanap met Esther at LTT, after she alighted from the train at around 5 am that brought her back to Mumbai after her Christmas break in Hyderabad. Sanap offered to drop her to her hostel in Andheri. They negotiated and decided that she would pay him Rs 300 for the ride. Footage of the negotiations has been caught on the CCTV cameras installed on LTT premises.
Esther Anuhya and Chandrabhan Sanap
When Esther emerged from LTT, she realised that Sanap did not have a taxi or an auto, but a bike. She refused to sit on the bike. The accused told her to take down his mobile phone number and even give his bike’s plate number to his relatives. But since she did not have any call balance left on her phone, Esther did not make an actual call, but only pretended to call her family members and pass on the details. So an actual call never happened.
While they crossed Sahkar Talkies and reached the Eastern Express Highway near Kanjurmarg, Sanap stopped the bike on the pretext of having run out of petrol, and parked the vehicle on the service road.
It was foggy at around 5.40 am, and Sanap dragged Esther to the bushes nearby. He tried to rape her, but she defended herself fiercely. In the struggle that ensued, he knocked her head several times on the stones nearby, and then strangled her with a dupatta.
He then removed some petrol from the bike, flung it on Esther and attempted to burn her. After that, he fled the scene with her laptop and her trolley bag.