The man accused of brutally killing his 36-year-old woman live-in partner in Mira Road locality of Maharashtra's Thane district, kept her chopped body parts in three buckets in their flat and also tried to hide the stench by spraying room freshener, his neighbours said on Thursday.
Police have arrested the accused man, 56-year-old Manoj Sane, after the chopped body parts of the victim, Saraswati Vaidya, were recovered from their rented flat located on the seventh floor of a building in the Mira Road area, where they had been living for the past three years. A court remanded Sane in police custody till June 16, officials said.
Talking to reporters, Somesh Srivastav, his next-door neighbour, said a foul smell kept emanating from Sane's flat for the past couple of days.
Srivastav said himself decided to speak to Sane about the stink as the latter did not usually open his flat.
"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 spray," he said.
But as soon as he opened the door, he started stepping out saying he has to go out for some urgent work and he will meet him after returning home around 10.30 pm, he 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 also reached the flat. The police broke open the door and entered the flat, Srivastav said, adding he also went inside the house.
The police found a wood cutter 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, he said, adding that bones were also lying there.
Police also found parts of the victim's thighs, which were not completely chopped yet, and also the hair braid lying on the ground, he said.
After that, the police decided to nab Sane and waited for his return, he said.
Srivastav said although Sane had told him that he would return home by 10.30 pm, he came back around 8.30 pm. After spotting the police on the 7th floor, he tried to leave the place, but the flat's broker identified him and he was immediately caught.
"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 that he came to know about the murder after returning home from the office in the evening.
He 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 did not speak with anybody, he said adding they also did not take part in in any functions in the society.
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