Total callousness and indifference on the part of the government railway police (GRP) and Mumbai police has led to an inordinate delay in investigating the sensational murder case of 23-year-old software engineer Esther Anuhya.
Due to its lackadaisical approach to missing person’s cases, both the GRP and the city police refused to take the case seriously when Esther’s father repeatedly approached them. Thanks to this, over two weeks have passed and the police are still clueless about who could have murdered Esther.
“In a majority of cases, the missing person either comes back or is traced within a few days. This is why the police refuse to put in time and manpower to look for missing persons,” said a police officer on condition of anonymity.
Esther’s family members were also victims of police apathy.
Esther, an employee of Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) in Mumbai, had gone to her hometown in Andhra Pradesh and returned to Mumbai on January 5, but did not reach her hostel in Andheri.
She was last seen at the Lokmanya Tilak Terminus (LTT) in Kurla.
“The MIDC police directed us to the Kurla railway police because Esther had gone missing from there. When we approached the Kurla police, they merely noted down on a piece of paper that our daughter had gone missing. When we insisted that they investigate the matter, the police asked us to go back to Vijaywada railway police and get an FIR registered there,” said SJS Prasad, Esther’s father.
After doing this, Prasad rushed back to Mumbai, only to be made to run from one police station to another. “They probably thought my daughter must have run away and will come back on her own,” Prasad said.
In fact, the concerned family even obtained Esther’s cell phone records of Esther. “In spite of showing these records to the police, they did nothing,” said Arun Kumar, Esther’s uncle.
The exasperated family then took it upon themselves and searched around Kanjurmarg and Bhandup and found Esther’s decomposed and partially burned body in a secluded area. “It was not the family’s job to look for Esther, but the police refused to cooperate. Even now, we are not sure if the police will be able to trace the culprit,” Kumar said.