More than a week after she was found dead in a swamp near a major highway on the outskirts of Mumbai, the police have made no arrests for the murder of 23-year-old Esther Anuhya, enraging women’s rights activists and her family.
Her body was decomposed and partly burnt so it was tough to identify her. It took a ring to establish that she was the young woman reported missing by her family in Vijayawada.
Esther moved to Mumbai a year ago to work with software giant TCS.
The last time she spoke to her father was on January 4 after she boarded a train to Mumbai after spending Christmas at home. She reassured him that she would call him again after settling into the hostel in Mumbai where she lived. Her father, Jonathon Anuhya, says he reported her missing the next day because there was no news from her.
Mr. Anuhya alleges that the Railway Police ignored his pleas for two days to launch a search for his daughter. So he asked the Vijayawada police to help him.
“I don’t wish to compare, but sometimes we need to compare and tell everybody that we are orphans in Bombay,” the victim’s uncle said.
Her cellphone records led her family to the swamp where she was found dead. Injuries suggest that she was sexually assaulted, but a detailed post-mortem report has yet to be finalized.
The Mumbai police says that other passengers who travelled with Esther claim they saw her disembarking from the train at the Kurla station.
The police suspects that she was abducted by a group of taxi or auto drivers waiting to find customers at the station.
A laptop she was carrying remains missing. Her cellphone was recovered near her body.
Actor and Director Pooja Bhatt who was part of a protest against the brutal crime told NDTV, “They kept insisting that it was a case of rape, possibly abduction and murder and unfortunately their worst fears were proved right. So, I think somewhere we need to tell or ask our state machinery that if you were there to protect us, are you doing enough?”