While the forensic evidence is inconclusive, the police claim they have enough circumstantial evidence to nail the accused.
The Mumbai police is likely to file a charge-sheet by the second week of May in the alleged rape and murder of the 23-year-old software engineer whose semi decomposed body was found off the Eastern Express Highway on January 16.
In March, the police had arrested a Nashik resident Chandrabhan Sanap for the crime. The police had booked him on the charges of rape, destruction of evidence and murder.
Sources say, the co-accused, Nandkishore Sahu arrested in the case will be treated as a witness to ensure that the case against Mr.Sanap is strong.
“The bike used in the crime belongs to Sahu. He was also an eyewitness when Sanap tried to destroy the evidence by setting the victim’s body on fire and therefore he will be presented as a government witness to make a watertight case against Sanap ,” sources privy to the investigation told The Hindu. The case had hit the headlines after her family claimed that the police had not taken their case seriously and refused to register a ‘missing’ complaint immediately. The delay they claimed had proved fatal. The Mumbai police had come under intense pressure to solve the case but had been unable to make a breakthrough.
In December last year, the victim who hailed from Machilipatnam in Krishna district in Andhra Pradesh had gone to her hometown to celebrate Christmas with her family. She took a train back to Mumbai on January 4th but went missing on January 5th morning from the Lokmanya Tilak Terminus (LTT).
While the forensic evidence is inconclusive in the case, the police claim that they have enough circumstantial evidence to nail the accused.
“We have over a dozen witnesses who have seen the accused and victim on LTT on January 5 morning. They will be able to establish that Sanap approached the victim and the two were seen leaving the parking area of LTT on a bike,” the source added.
The police also have strong technical evidence against the accused, including the CCTV footage from LTT. Other than the CCTV footage, police have also recorded the statement of a beggar in Panchavati to whom Sanap ‘donated’ the victim’s belongings, claiming that they were of his deceased wife.