A day after the half-burnt body of Esther Anuhya, a 23-year-old software professional from Machilipatnam, was found in suburban Kanjurmarg in Mumbai, TP Lahane, Dean of the government-run JJ Hospital, who examined the body, said injuries found on her body and private parts were caused by a blunt object.
Asked if the report indicated any sort of sexual assault, he replied, “The cause of death and sexual assault, if there was any, can be ascertained only through chemical analysis which is being done by forensic experts”.
Employed at the Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) in Mumbai, Anuhya went missing on January 4. The search for her ended when her family members and the Vijayawada police found her body late Thursday. It came as a major embarrassment to the Mumbai police who were first informed about the missing case on January 5 when Esther’s two phones became unresponsive. Esther’s decomposed body was found in desolate stretches near the Eastern Express Highway near Kanjurmarg.
The police team from Vijayawada accompanied by her family members began their search at Kanjurmarg, the last signal indicated by one of her mobile phones. Locals directed them to a location from where bad odour was emanating. That was where they found the body and identified it by a ring on her finger.
Police suspect she might have been murdered after being sexually assaulted and that an attempt was made to destroy evidence by burning the body. Anuhya had gone to her hometown Machilipatnam for Christmas and was returning to resume her work. She had boarded the Visakhapatnam-LTT Express on January 4 in Vijayawada at 6.35 am. Her father S Prasad, a retired lecturer at Noble College, last spoke to her when the train reached Solapur in Maharashtra at 10 p.m. that day. He recalled that she spoke for about five minutes and assured him she would give him a call once she reached her hostel in Andheri the next morning.
He got worried when she did not call and her phones too were switched off. His younger brother Arun Kumar went to the station and found that the train had already arrived. He then approached Kurla GRP to lodge a missing complaint but was advised to approach the Vijayawada GRP.
Vijayawada Railway superintendent of police Shyam Prasad said based on preliminary investigation, it was confirmed that Anuhya had reached Mumbai. “A co-passenger, Dondapati Hari Babu, informed us she was present when he had alighted the train in Pune. Another co-passenger, Raghunath, informed us she was present when he got down at the Mumbai station,” he said.
The GRP SP also said the girl owned two cell phones and the police was able to track signals from one of the cell phones from January 5 to 9. “We lost track of the phone and the last signal was from the Mumbai red light area of Kamatipura,” he said and added that the case has been transferred to the Mumbai police.
Meanwhile, the body of Anuhya was brought to Hyderabad on Friday night. The Christian community has called for a bandh in Machilipatnam on Saturday.
With inputs from PTI