By Quaid Najmi
Thane, Jun 8 (IANS): The prime accused in the Thane murder case allegedly stooped to unimaginably gory levels to disguise his live-in partner's killing, stunning even the police investigators, officials said on Thursday.
Accused, Manoj Sahani, 56, was nabbed late on Wednesday night after he was found living in his rental flat with several body pieces of his live-in partner, Saraswati Vaidya, 32, whom he had killed recently.
Deputy Commissioner of Police Jayant Bajwale and his team have uncovered how he stored the body pieces in plastic bags strewn around the 7th floor flat of Akashdeep Building in Geeta Nagar area of the Mira Road town, around 10 km north of Mumbai borders.
Sahani, who is a shopkeeper in north Mumbai, had reportedly disposed off some portions of the woman's upper half and he is believed to have used a saw (cutter) to chop off her heavy limbs and bones.
Some body pieces he allegedly cut and chopped in a mixer and a few others he boiled in a pressure cooker ostensibly to kill the odour emanating from the decomposing body parts, and police found the victim's feet in the kitchen awaiting a round of cooking.
In fact, it was the very stench that blew the lid off the heinous crime when neighbours complained to the police and a team rushed there on Wednesday afternoon.
DCP Bajwale told IANS that the couple had been in a live-in relationship for at least three years at the rented flat, and the murder is suspected to have taken place early this week (around Sunday-Monday).
"They apparently had a bitter fight over some issue and in a likely bout of rage, Manoj killed Saraswati in their home. Later he indulged in the other acts to erase the evidence of his crime. However, as soon as we entered the flat, it was clear that a gruesome murder had been committed and we caught him," said Bajbale.
Police suspect that some of the missing body parts Sahani may have flushed down the toilet drain, or fed to the stray dogs as claimed by some neighbours or disposed of them in the mangroves nearby and investigations are ongoing.
The exact motives of the chilling murder are yet to be ascertained, but Sahani, who appears unrepentant, is being grilled by a police team before he is produced before a court later on Thursday, said an official.
Shocked residents in the Geeta Nagar neighbourhood speak of the sensational case in hushed tones, and some recall the couple as aloof, not mingling with the people around them and keeping to themselves.
The unsold flat had been leased out by the builder through a property agent to Sahani-Vaidya three years ago, where they lived since.
A worried woman property consultant in Mira Road said that whenever such heinous crimes come to the fore, it immediately adversely affects realty prices in the complex, immediate neighbourhood, and the vicinity.
"It becomes very difficult for people wanting to sell/dispose off the flat, as the property and the locality acquires a bad reputation... there are few takers or it has to be condemned to a distress sale at a huge loss," the woman, who declined to be identified, said.