Mumbai/New Delhi: Three auto drivers have been detained by Mumbai Police for the murder of Esther Anuhya, whose decomposed and burnt body was found on January 16 in a swamp next to the highway on the city's outskirts.
Police say the three detained have criminal antecedents and are being interrogated. "We suspect she was raped but that is not yet clear," police said.
The detention came after Esther's father, S Jonathan Prasad, accused the Mumbai Police of inaction and said he felt "helpless and disappointed" in his pursuit for justice.
Mr Prasad also slammed the Mumbai Police's claim that they found the 23-year-old software engineer's body. "It's unfortunate. Mumbai police is lying when they say they found the body," Mr Prasad said. (Blog: 'I found Esther's body, with help from locals')
Mumbai Police denied the allegations today. "On January 10th, they approached us and we swung into action," a senior police official said.
Yesterday, Mr Prasad met Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde and pleaded for help. Mr Shinde then wrote to Maharashtra's Home Minister RR Patil, asking for "swift action" and the identification of Esther's killers. (Read Home Minister's letter)
Not satisfied with Mr Shinde's assurances, Mr Prasad met AAP leader Yogendra Yadav today, who is reported to have talked to his party members in Mumbai to take up the case.
After spending Christmas with her family, Esther boarded a train to Mumbai and phoned her father on January 4 to say she would inform him when she had settled into her hostel.
When he didn't hear from her, Mr Prasad phoned the police for help. He alleged that officers of the Government Railway Police or GRP refused to launch a search for Esther, and suggested that she may have eloped.
With the help of the Vijayawada police, Mr Prasad and his relatives then hunted for Esther based on her cellphone records and found her body, identified by a ring she was wearing.