Four auto drivers have been arrested by the Mumbai Police in connection with the murder of Esther Anuhya, a 23-year-old software engineer, whose decomposed and burnt body was found in a highway in the outskirts of the city on 16 January.
Police said that the drivers detained have a criminal history and are currently being interrogated. Police suspect rape though it has not yet become clear.
"We suspect she was raped but that is not yet clear," NDTV quoted a police spokeperson.
The sudden turn of events came after Esther's father Jonathan Prasad slammed the police for their inaction. Prasad expressed his helplessness and disappointment in his pursuit for justice and also rubbished the police's claim they had found the body.
In a blog post written on Friday, Esther's cousin stated they found the body in a swamp near the city' outskirts after a rigorous search with the help of locals.
"I discovered the body along with another cousin and with the help of locals. We went looking for her since the police was not ready to help. Her body was burnt and highly decomposed. I did not let her father see her in that state. Her phone was beside her. We contacted the police, the forensics came. A gold ring she was wearing helped to identify her," her cousin wrote in the post.
After spending the Christmas and New Year's vacation with her family, Esther boarded a train from Vijayawada to Mumbai on 4 January. She last called her father around 10 pm that day to and said she was alight and was going to sleep. Prasad rang her at 7.30 next morning but she did not answer, the cousin said.
The family has alleged that the police refused to register a case in Mumbai. "They said 'How can you prove the girl has reached Mumbai and left the station? The last time she was seen was at the Vijaywada station, so book a case there'," the cousin wrote.
Mumbai Police on Friday denied allegations that they refused to register a complaint. "On January 10th, they approached us and we swung into action," a senior police official said, according to NDTV.