Anuhya case prosecutor argues for death to convict

S. Jonathan Prasad with a portrait of his daughter Esther Anuhya of Machilipatnam in Krishna district.- Photo: T. Appala Naidu

S. Jonathan Prasad with a portrait of his daughter Esther Anuhya of Machilipatnam in Krishna district.- Photo: T. Appala Naidu  


The public prosecutor who is arguing for the State in the Esther Anuhya rape and murder case has said he is hoping to convince the court that the case meets the ‘rarest of rare’ criterion laid down by the Supreme Court and that the convicted rapist Chandrakant Sudam Sanap deserves to be given the death penalty.

Special judge Vrushali Joshi of the Women Court in Mumbai, who held the man guilty of raping and killing Machilipatnam native Esther Anuhya, on Wednesday put off her pronouncement of the sentence to October 30. Software engineer Anuhya, a TCS employee, was abducted, assaulted and murdered by Sanap in January 2014. He had tricked her into hiring his motorcycle as a taxi after she got down at a railway station and needed to go to her hostel in South Mumbai.

Speaking to The Hindu on the telephone after Wednesday’s proceedings in court, special public prosecutor Raja Thakare said, “I have argued for the death penalty as this case meets the criterion of rarest of the rare as per guidelines given by the apex court guidelines in 2013.

Sanap has been convicted under Section 376 (A) of the Indian Penal Code, Mr. Thakare said. “Several recent judgements will serve as precedents for the severest sentence in the Anuhya case.”

Anuhya’s father, S. Jonathan Prasad said the punishment should be such that it deters anyone from committing heinous acts such as rape. The family is being represented by Prof. Prasad’s brother Arun Kumar at the hearings in Mumbai.

Prof. Prasad says he has been unable to bring himself to go to the court himself. “The sorrow of losing my daughter and memories of the tragic incident will haunt me forever. I have been trying to avoid the thoughts of the dreadful incident since the day I saw her half-burnt body,” he said.

The retired professor has seen Sanap in the flesh. It was when the accused was produced before him during the investigation.

Prof Prasad said he was too benumbed by the loss of his daughter to even summon up anger at Sanap. “I was speechless to see the person who killed my daughter,” he said on Wednesday. Asked how he has coped since the murder, Prof Prasad said, “I visit the places she loved in Machilipatnam and sing the songs she loved to sing in our Noble Church. I see her in those songs.”

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Printable version | Jan 29, 2020 1:05:47 PM |

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