Esther Anuhya Murder Case: Informers lead cops on wild goose chase

Jan 28, 2014, 11:28 IST | Vinay Dalvi

With no technical evidence to go by, cops have been relying on auto rickshaw and taxi drivers who operate around LTT for leads; each name provided by the drivers, however, has led them to a dead end

The utter lack of technical evidence in the murder case of software engineer Esther Anuhya case has left the Mumbai police solely at the mercy of informers for a breakthrough. And going by the number of false leads the cops have pursued over the past few days, the informers are taking them on quite a wild-goose chase.

Esther Anuhya’s charred body had been found on January 16, and while over 10 days have passed since the discovery, the police have no leads in the case so far
Esther Anuhya’s charred body had been found on January 16, and while over 10 days have passed since the discovery, the police have no leads in the case so far

Police teams from Zone VII of the Mumbai Crime Branch and the GRP have interrogated around 1,000 people so far. Esther’s charred body had been found on January 16, and while over 10 days have passed since the discovery, the police have no leads in the case so far.

“There is no technical evidence in the case. While we had managed to trace Esther’s mobile phone in Kanjurmarg, none of the suspects’ phones that we traced have shown them moving from LTT in Kurla to the spot where the body was found. We found her location through GPRS, as Whatsapp was activated on her phone. But most of the taxi, auto drivers don’t use Whatsapp, leaving us with no technical evidence,” said a senior Crime Branch officer.

The Crime Branch units are working on the case from different angles. “Several co-passengers have been interrogated; a doctor who was sitting beside Esther on the train has told us that she got down safely at LTT but does not know what happened after that,” said the police officer.

The police have also interrogated several taxi drivers, auto drivers, coolies, tea vendors and agents at LTT. They suspect that after Esther boarded a taxi or an auto, the vehicle’s driver raped her, killed her and dumped her body on the Kanjurmarg Service Road.

In the initial stages of the investigation, some taxi drivers who usually wait with their vehicles at the LTT had told the police that four taxi drivers were missing; the cops traced these drivers and interrogated them, only to understand that they were not involved in the crime.

“Some of the taxi drivers who gave us the information had a dispute with these taxi drivers and they wanted to put them in trouble, and dragged in their names. Another informer told the Property Cell of the Crime Branch that a taxi driver had taken a girl from LTT to Churchgate, and he had seen it,” said a police officer.

The officials immediately picked up the taxi driver, who, afraid of being thrashed by the police, concocted a story about picking up a girl and subsequently killing her. He added that he had been helped by one of his friends, who had returned to Uttar Pradesh after committing the crime. The police immediately left for UP and picked up the second accused. This man told them that him that he had reached UP to attend his sister’s marriage, and his friend had concocted the entire story.

Some other taxi drivers, disgruntled that they had not been invited to a birthday party hosted by another driver, led the cops to believe that some of the party-goers may have been involved in the crime. “We picked up all of them and interrogated them for three days. After one unit of the Crime Branch interrogated them, another picked them up for a second time. Ultimately, they were all let off,” said another Crime Branch officer.

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