Esther Anuhya rape case Sanap
Chandrabhan Sanap, accused in the 2014 alleged rape and murder of techie Esther Anuhya being produced at a Mumbai court on Oct 28, 2015.IANS

A Mumbai sessions court on Friday sentenced Chandrabhan Sanap to death for the rape and murder of software engineer Esther Anuhya in January last year. 

Special Women's Court judge Vrushali Joshi, who had convicted Sanap of raping and murdering the Hyderabad-based techie on Tuesday, pronounced the sentence against the 29-year-old accused.

The victim's father expressed his gratitude to the police and the media for ensuring that justice was done to his 23-year-old daughter.

"Justice has been done and we are grateful to the police, courts and media for taking up the cause so diligently... It will serve as a deterrent to others," Jonathan Prasad said, IANS reported.

The incident had taken place on 5 January, 2014, when Anuhya arrived at around 5 am at Lokmanya Tilak Terminus from Vijayawada after a Christmas break to rejoin work at information technology company, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), in Goregaon.

Sanap, posing as a taxi driver, offered to drop her to her hostel in south Mumbai for Rs 300. Later, when Anuhya found out that Sanap had a motorcycle and not a taxi or an auto, she hesitated to go with him. However, he convinced her to take the ride saying she can send his bike details to her relatives.

In the absence of any other vehicle at that time, she agreed and pretended to call her family as she had no balance in her mobile.

They then left on Sanap's bike, but he stopped midway on Eastern Express Highway near Kanjurmarg suburb, claiming that he was running out of fuel. Taking advantage of the foggy winter morning, he then dragged her to the bushes and attempted to rape her.

When she resisted, Sanap banged her head repeatedly with a stone and strangled her with her dupatta. He then tried to burn her body using the petrol from his bike and fled the scene with all her belongings, except her phone.

After failing to contact Anuhya, her father lodged a complaint with the Vijayawada railway police and another with Kurla railway police after arriving in Mumbai.

The police found Anuhya's decomposed body on 16 January after intense investigation, examination of footages of Lokmanya Tilak Terminus and by tracing her mobile phone records that showed the last signal at Bhandup.

Her identity was established with a ring on her finger.

The police then arrested Sanap from Nashik on 3 March and charged him under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code.