Nashik history-sheeter held

Nearly two months after the body of a 23-year-old software engineer was found in Mumbai, the police claimed to have worked out the case with the arrest of Nashik resident Chandrabhan Sanap.

The police said the primary motive seemed to be robbery but did not rule out sexual assault. “The victim put up a brave fight so the accused strangled her with her stole ,” Police Commissioner Rakesh Maria said on Monday.

The accused has been charged with murder and destruction of evidence.

The case hit the headlines after the girl’s family claimed that the police had not taken their complaint seriously. The victim had returned to Mumbai from Machilipatnam by train after Christmas holidays, but went missing from the Lokmanya Tilak Terminus at Kurla on January 5. Her body was found off the Eastern Express Highway on January 16.

The case was solved with the help of CCTV footage and informers. At 4.55 a.m. on January 5, the victim was seen alighting on platform 3. By 5.11 a.m., she ran into Sanap between platforms 4 and 5. He was seen wheeling her bag while she talked on her mobile phone. The two then moved towards the exit. The police say the accused convinced the victim into believing that he would drop her at her residence in the western suburbs on his motorbike for Rs. 300.

“The accused exchanged his mobile and motorbike number to instil confidence in her,” Mr. Maria said.

He said the victim pretended to share these details with her relatives on her phone, though she had no talk time left.

The accused initially tried to sexually assault the girl, but killed her when she offered resistance, the police said. Police sources told The Hindu that the Government Railway Police had last month interrogated Sanap but were unable to solve the case.