Police personnel rummaged through bushes and searched two dry river beds located on the 18-km stretch between Shahad and Khadavli stations, but to no avail
Keen to lay their hands on murder victim Esther Anuhya’s laptop, which was flung by her alleged killer from a moving train, about 150 police personnel walked an 18-km stretch to hunt for the ‘crucial evidence’ yesterday.
Ten teams comprising officers from the Mumbai Crime Branch and new police recruits commenced the search from Shahad railway station, trekking along the rail tracks all the way to Khadavli railway station on the Mumbai-Nashik rail route. Cops said this was their ninth attempt in as many days in the search for the elusive laptop.
Evidence hunt: Nearly 150 police personnel comprising Crime Branch officers and new police recruits searched for Esther Anuhya’s laptop on Tuesday. Pic/Datta Kumbhar
“We have been searching the laptop for nine days. We have hired fishermen, divers to help us in the search. On Tuesday a team of around 150 policemen walked from Shahad station towards Khadavali station, rummaging through bushes along the tracks. The 18-km stretch has two rivers — Kalu and Khadavali — and we have searched both of them with the help of the divers,” said a Crime Branch officer, on condition of anonymity.
Why it matters
The accused Chandraban Sanap told the police that after killing Esther he made his way to Nashik but did not take the laptop, leaving it in Kanjurmarg. But a few days later, he returned and carried the laptop with him when he was making his way to Nashik again. According to him, when the long-distance train he was travelling in passed Kalyan, he switched on the laptop, and it took a picture of him as it was fitted with face recognition software. When he saw his picture on the screen, he got afraid and flung the laptop somewhere between Shahad and Khadavali station.
After his arrest on March 2, police managed to recover the clothes, t-shirt, jeans, trolley bag and sunglasses belonging to Esther. But the laptop, according to them, will help build a watertight case.
“We have recovered some of Esther’s belongings from Sanap’s sister Sunita’s canteen in Kanjurmarg. But Esther’s Lenovo laptop is a crucial piece of evidence, which will help us in the court, as it will have various documents and pictures of Esther,” added the Crime Branch officer.