House of horror: FIR reveals ghastly details behind Mumbai man killing his partner
Citing their preliminary probe, a senior police official said Sane most likely killed Vaidya on June 4 and was trying to dispose of the body parts.
THANE: A 56-year-old man accused of killing his live-in partner and chopping and boiling her body parts in Maharashtra's Thane district was sent to police custody till June 16 by a court on Thursday as gory details emerged about the horrific crime during investigation, evoking memories of the last year's Shraddha Walkar case.
The accused, Manoj Sane, who worked at a ration shop, kept the woman's chopped body parts in three buckets in their rented flat in Mira Road (East), a suburb of Mumbai, and tried to hide the stench by spraying room freshener, his neighbours said though a motive behind the gruesome murder remains unclear so far.
According to FIR registered by the police, Sane not only boiled body pieces in a pressure cooker and an utensil after cutting them, but also roasted them and put them in a bucket and tub. It is suspected the murder took place on June 4 but came to light on June 7. Sane was arrested and produced before a Thane court which remanded him to police custody till June 16.
Neighbours also told the police Sane had been feeding stray dogs for the past few days, something he had never done before.
While a case has been registered against Sane under Indian Penal Code sections 302 (murder) and 201 (destruction of evidence), the motive behind the crime is yet to be ascertained, said an official from the Naya Nagar police station.
Victim Saraswati Vaidya (36) was in a live-in relationship with Sane, and the couple resided in flat no. 704 on the seventh floor of Akashdeep building in Mira Road (East) for the past three years, the official said.
Another police official told PTI that a neighbour experienced a foul smell emanating from Sane's flat on Wednesday. Sane appeared nervous when he asked him about the stench.
Sane then stepped out with a black sack and told the neighbour he would be back by 10.30 pm.
However, neighbours felt something was amiss and immediately alerted the police. Police broke open the door after there was no response from inside. While Sane was in the flat, it reeked of an unbearable smell, said the official.
In the bedroom, they found a plastic bag and a blood-stained saw. But the seasoned cops were stunned when they entered the kitchen, he said.
On the kitchen platform, police found boiled human flesh in a pressure cooker and in a few vessels with the woman's hair lying on the floor. Half-burnt bones and flesh were kept in the sink and in buckets and tubs, the official said.
Neighbours told the media the couple mostly kept to themselves, but they did not hear the two quarrelling.
Citing their preliminary probe, a senior police official said Sane most likely killed Vaidya on June 4 and was trying to dispose of the body parts. "Sane is trying to mislead the police by claiming that his live-in partner committed suicide, but the truth will be out after thorough interrogation," he said.
Samples of the body parts have been sent for forensic tests to the JJ Hospital in Mumbai, said Jayant Bajbale, DCP-Zone I of Mira-Bhayander-Vasai-Virar police.
Talking to reporters, Somesh Srivastav, the next-door neighbour of the couple, said a foul smell kept emanating from Sane's flat for the past couple of days.
"On Wednesday, I planned to speak to him about the unbearable odour coming from his flat and knocked on his door. There was no response from inside initially, but he opened the door after some time. Before that, he sprayed room freshener in the house to suppress the stench. I heard the sound of the spray," he said.
As soon as Sane opened the door, he hurriedly stepped out saying he has to go out for some urgent work, the neighbour said.
At that time, Srivastav's mother noticed that Sane's woman partner was not there to see him off as she used to do whenever he stepped out, he said.
After sensing that something was amiss, Srivastav informed the housing society's office-bearers, who in turn called the builder and the broker of the flat, he said.
After being alerted, a police team reached the flat and broke open the door. The police found a woodcutter in the hall and a piece of plastic in the bedroom. They were shocked to see three buckets full of blood and chopped body parts kept in the kitchen, Srivastav said.
Police found parts of the victim's thighs, which were not completely chopped yet, and also the hair braid lying on the ground, he said.
Srivastav said "The way the accused had chopped the victim's body parts, he would have disposed of these pieces over the next two days," he said.
Another neighbour Vivek Srivastav said although the couple had been staying in the seventh-floor flat for the last couple of years, they did not mix with anyone and kept away from housing society functions.
Utkarsha Rupawate, a member of Maharashtra State Women Commission, visited the Naya Nagar Police Station as well as the flat, where the murder took place, along with another member of the panel Gauri Chhabria.
Rupawate told PTI the police have given them a copy of the FIR. "We have asked for the statement of the accused, as per the information with the police so far, the murder took place on June 4," she said.
The victim, a homemaker, was an orphan, while the accused was an employee in a ration shop and lost his job recently. They were in a relationship since 2014, Rupawate said.
"We spoke to neighbours and they said the couple hardly communicated with anybody in the housing society," she said.
The crime sparked a war of words between the Opposition and the BJP, a ruling partner in the state.
Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Supriya Sule described the murder as "extremely horrific and outrageous" and alleged crimes against women were on the rise in the state as criminals have no fear of law. She said Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, who handles the home portfolio, should concentrate on his department seriously.
Shraddha Walkar was allegedly strangled to death by her live-in partner Aaftab Poonawala on May 18 last year. The accused sawed her body into several pieces, which he kept in a refrigerator for almost three weeks at his residence in south Delhi's Mehrauli.