Nearly two years after Esther Anuhuya, a techie from Andhra Pradesh, was murdered by a man in Mumbai, a special women’s court has given the convict, Chandrabhan Sanap, the death sentence.
The decision on sentencing came two days after the court held him guilty for Esther’s rape and murder. While giving the death sentence, the court termed it a rarest of rare case. Sanap was convicted under section 302 (murder), section 376 (rape) and section 201 (causing disappearance of evidence).
Mid Day reported that public prosecutor Raja Thakare examined 39 witnesses in the case to secure the conviction and death penalty.
Responding to the verdict, Esther’s mother S Jotsna said that she hoped that the sentence of capital punishment would be a deterrent for other persons, as reported by The Hindu. She was also reported to have said that the incident led to a fear among parents to send their children for education or work.
The murder took place in January 2014 when Anuhya arrived from Vijayawada at Lokmanya Tilak Terminus after a Christmas break to rejoin work at Tata Consultancy Services, Goregaon.
As the train arrived early around 5 am, Sanap, posing as a cabbie, offered to drop her to her hostel in south Mumbai. They negotiated an amount of Rs 300 for the commute. However, when Anuhya walked out of the terminus with her luggage, she found Sanap had neither a taxi nor an autorickshaw, but a motorcycle. When she refused to go, he asked her to inform her family about his details and the vehicle registration number.
As there was no other transport available at that hour and though Anuhya did not have any balance on her mobile phone, she pretended to make a call to her family before accepting the motorcycle ride. En route, Sanap stopped the bike on the service road on the Eastern Express Highway near Kanjurmarg suburb, on the excuse that the petrol had run out, and in the foggy wintry morning on the deserted highway, dragged Esther into the bushes and attempted to rape her, but she strongly resisted.
Enraged, Sanap banged her head repeatedly with a stone and even strangled her with her dupatta. He then took some petrol from his motorcycle and attempted to burn the body in the thick bushes beside the highway. He fled the scene after grabbing her bag and a trolley which contained her laptop and other belongings.
With inputs from IANS
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