Police in Mumbai have arrested four auto drivers in connection with the murder and suspected rape of software engineer Esther Anuhya, following protests by people’s groups and her family accusing police of “inaction”.
The decomposed and burnt body of the 23-year-old was found near a swamp on the outskirts of Mumbai, in western India on January 16 by family members.
“We suspect she was raped but cannot confirm it yet”, police told NDTV news channel.
The police were criticised by the girl's father, Jonathan Prasad, for not registering a case promptly.
On January 4, after spending Christmas with family in Vijayawada in south India, Anuhya had taken the train to Mumbai where she worked in a leading Indian software company.
At 10pm she had phoned to inform her father she had reached the city and would phone him later after she reached her hostel in suburban Andheri.
Failing to receive any calls from her, Prasad lodged a missing person complaint at both Vijayawada railway police station and in Kurla station in Mumbai on January 8. Family members found Anuhya’s body near the eastern Express Highway in Mumbai after 10 days.
Mumbai police have come in for criticism for tardy action and are chasing many leads to crack the murder mystery.
They have combed the area looking for evidence and interrogated over 1000 auto and taxi drivers. “They are being sent on a wild goose chase”, accused the city paper Midday.
Prasad visited New Delhi on January 24 to seek the help of leaders of AAP (Common Man’s party) to “raise a voice” and pile pressure on the authorities. “What about the safety of other women who travel alone in the city?” he asked reporters.