Manoj Sane has been arrested by Mumbai Police for allegedly murdering his live-in partner.
A couple that never spoke to their neighbours and remained largely unknown in their apartment building in Mumbai is in the spotlight after a gruesome murder was revealed on Wednesday.
Saraswati Vaidya, 32, and Manoj Sane, 56, met 15 years ago at a ration shop where he worked. They were both from Ahmednagar, according to the police, and bonded. Sane had an ITI (Industrial Training Institute) certificate.
Saraswati, a school dropout, lived in a shelter home though she had three sisters. When she met Manoj Sane, she decided to live with him. She told people at home that he was her maternal uncle and very wealthy.
They moved into Flat No 704 at the Mira Road apartment building five years ago.
In all that time, they kept to themselves, said Somesh Srivastava, who stays across the hall and who alerted the police to a suspicious stench from Sane's apartment. "I didn't even know their name," he said.
The cause of the stench was revealed on Wednesday, when the police broke into the apartment.
Some policemen reportedly threw up, unprepared for the horror of human body parts scattered all over the living room and boiled and roasted flesh in utensils in the kitchen.
Saraswati was allegedly murdered on Sunday.
They fought, allegedly over Sane's suspicion that she was cheating on him. Sane's statements to the police have been fluctuating wildly.
He first claimed that Saraswati took poison and died, and he panicked and cut up her body to dispose of it. He also claimed that Saraswati "was like his daughter".
Saraswati's sisters are being questioned by the police.
Though the motive is not established yet, disturbing details have been emerging on what Sane did next.
He bought a diesel-powered electric saw to chop up his girlfriend's body; he is believed to have told the police he got the idea from the Shraddha Walkar case. Black garbage bags were strewn across the flat.
Afraid that the odor would give him away, he sprayed a room freshener and allegedly tried to boil and roast the body parts, believing that would be easier to dispose of. He was reportedly seen in a mask by neighbours, who thought a dead rat could be the cause of the overpowering stench.
The reek became stronger by Tuesday morning, and a neighbour complained to Sane in the elevator. He reportedly said he would look into it when he returned from work.
He was finally caught after Somesh Srivastava, his neighbour, knocked on his door and heard Sane using a spray, possibly a room freshener. When no one answered the door, the neighbour called the police. Sane tried to escape when he was caught in the lift by the police, with help from neighbours.