The decomposed body of a 38-year-old local woman BJP leader was found at her residence in Palghar in Maharashtra on Tuesday, a police official said.
Police suspect the victim, Rupali Chavan, a local leader of the BJP's Mahila Morcha who resided in Nallasopara area on outskirts of Mumbai, was killed two days ago.
Some neighbours of Chavan, on noticing a foul stench emanating from her house, alerted police officials who broke open the door and found her dead, the official said.
She had several injuries and burn wounds on her body, he said. "We suspect she was killed by an unidentified person two days back," he said, adding the exact cause of her death would be known after the postmortem.
"We have registered an offence of murder and further investigation is on," he added.
Inspector K G Kolhe of the Nallasopara police station told the media Chavan resided on the first floor of a multi- storey building and her body was found in the afternoon.
According to her neighbours, an attempt was made to dispose of the body by burning it.
One of her friends told the media that on October 5, Chavan went shopping with her. The next day the victim went alone for shopping and called her friend at night. That was the last time they spoke to each other, she said.
For the next two days the woman said she tried to reach Chavan on the phone, but in vain. Finally, she called her father who showed her a message purported to have been sent by the victim stating she was going to Surat for a couple of days, she said.
Doubting the authenticity of the message, the woman said she and her father decided to file a missing person complaint with the police.
But before that they went to Chavan's flat to enquire about her and found it to be locked from outside on Tuesday.