Esther Anuhya case: Why did techie hop on a bike with her killer?

The victim had negotiated a price for a drop back to her hostel, thinking that the man was a taxi or auto driver; when she saw his bike, she refused the offer, but he convinced her, asking her to take down his mobile number

The Mumbai Crime Branch on Monday announced that it finally cracked the murder case of software engineer Esther Anuhya, almost two months after she was reported missing.

Esther Anuhya’s charred remains were found on January 16 in Kanjurmarg
Esther Anuhya’s charred remains were found on January 16 in Kanjurmarg

The police said that robbery was the main motive behind the murder, and that the accused, a 28-year-old man, was a mobile phone thief. He threw his SIM card into a river in order to evade the police.

On Sunday, the Crime Branch arrested Chandraban Sudam Sanap, a resident of Karve Nagar, Kanjurmarg. Sanap had earlier worked at Lokmanya Tilak Terminus (LTT) as a porter, but subsequently sold his workman’s badge and shifted to Nashik.

During interrogations, Sanap told the police that he met Esther at LTT on January 5, after she alighted from the train 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.

No balance
“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,” said Police Commissioner Rakesh Maria. “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,” said Maria.

Rape attempt & robbery
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 fled the scene with her laptop and her trolley bag,” said Maria.

Charred body
Later, Sanap went to Kanjurmarg, from where he called his friend and the owner of the bike, Nandkishore Sahu. He told him what had happened. “Both of them went back to the spot where Sanap had killed Esther. Sanap tried to find Esther’s phone, worried that she had saved his number. He failed to find the phone, and removing some petrol from the bike, flung it on Esther and attempted to burn her body,” said Maria.

>> Esther did not have enough balance on her phone to make a call
>> Pretended to call her parents and give them details of the ‘driver’
>> Cops later saw her make a call on CCTV footage, but could not trace it

  • shakti04-Mar-2014

    This is Nonsense and completely opposite of Dr.'s report. The doctors are not idiots to simply report that the victim has been sexually assaulted. Before Mumbai breaks out into another set of riots, Police is bungling up further. My Question to Mumbai Police? 1) Was the Bike Recovered? 2) Was a DNA Swap conducted on Chouky and matched to Ester's Autopsy? 3) Was a DNA conducted on the Bike that they both sat i.e. IF THEY SAT ON IT REALLY? 4) My gut says ESTER would never sit on

  • Moorkh Samjho Hai Ke04-Mar-2014

    They had go catch someone to get rid of pressure, they found their BAKRA. A main point to notice is that if Esther simply pretended to give the accused's mobile number and license plate number to someone how did the accuse come to know that she did not actually give his details to anyone which is why he felt secure to commit the crime. According to him his details should have been passed by the victim to her people and he would have been caught for the crime easily.

  • Sandy04-Mar-2014

    Right said Arshad......This is all so fake...guess the cops think that Indian public are fools.......what a dramatic way of trying to wrap up the actual episode.....Sorry authorities we are not takers for this story of yours.....GET THE ACTUAL FACTS OUT !!!!!!

  • Munaf Kapde04-Mar-2014

    Police wants to run away fromt his case

  • Arshad Ali 04-Mar-2014

    Foolish Mumbai Police, they cannot even make a good story hahaha. The picture they showed in that the man is carrying two bags and Esther has one hand bag. How the hell can i person sit on a bike with all these things crap (saving the car involved in this murder). She was an very well educated girl and smart girl, she would have never sat on a bike. CRAP CRAP CRAP

  • bhaakar04-Mar-2014

    Sorry cops you could had some help from many unlucky assistant directors from bollyhood kollyhood for nice story and screen play

  • jagadish04-Mar-2014

    police say she only realised sanap has no auto or taxi only after emerging out of the station. was the CCTV footage of anuhya pretending to make a call from parking lot or at the platform.

  • Dinesh 07-Mar-2014

    Take aways frm the case. 1.Prepaid phone system with mismanagement of phone battery puts you unsafe in any situation. 2. Shout...when someone is forcing you to avail his unwanted services. 3.Your safety is above all your belongings, even if you get fooled due to your slight mistake. 4.Try to remember any one particular belongings of the thief which can be traced later. Like .. bike number, mobile number. 5. Photographing the situation is the best option to increase chances of retrieving.

  • Jyoti04-Mar-2014

    absolutely bundle story.... seems like cops just want to close the case as solved so put anything together and vola case solved... doesn't added up to me...

  • A Shaikh04-Mar-2014

    As I can say this story has some crap, the car is involved may be sanap is trying to save that person and car...heavy luggage can't be carried on bike..she seems smart girl she must have been coned with great sharpness...police must find sanaps partner in crime.

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