A 56-year-old man was arrested in Mumbai on Wednesday after he allegedly killed his 32-year-old live-in partner and chopped her body into 20 pieces, The Indian Express reported, citing the police. He was sent to police custody by a court till June 16.
According to the police, preliminary inquiry showed that Manoj Sahani killed Saraswati Vaidya, an orphan, over domestic disputes. But Sahani claimed that Vaidya died by suicide, reported NDTV.
The incident came to light on Wednesday after residents of Geeta Aakashdeep Cooperative Housing Society, where the couple lived, called the police complaining about a foul smell emanating from one of the flats.
Somesh Srivastava, a resident, told NDTV that he first went to the couple’s home to check the smell. “No one opened the door at the first knock,” he told the news channel. “I heard a sound of spray after which Manoj Sahani came out.”
Srivastava said that Sahani told him he was going out for some work. “I then alerted the building administration and we immediately informed the police,” he added.
After this, a police team broke open the flat and found Vaidya’s decomposed body, reported The Indian Express.
“In the preliminary inquiry, it seems that the accused, in order to destroy the evidence, chopped the body in pieces,” said Deputy Commissioner of Police Jayant Bajbale. “We nabbed the accused while he was trying to leave the building. We are interrogating him.”
The police said that Sahani boiled pieces of Vaidya’s body in a pressure cooker and filled them into plastic bags. He later disposed of the body parts by feeding them to dogs.
“The gruesome killing was committed on June 4, and the accused, using two cutters, including an electric one, chopped the body into small pieces,” Additional Commissioner of Police Shrikant Pathak added. “Some pieces of the body seem to be missing. We suspect that the accused may have dumped the body pieces gradually in different areas.”
The police said that a case will be registered under Sections 302 (murder) and 201 (destruction of evidence) of the Indian Penal Code.
The details of the case are similar to those in the murder of Shraddha Walkar. The 26-year-old was killed allegedly by her live-in partner Aftab Poonawala in Delhi in May. He chopped her body into pieces and buried them at different places in the national capital, according to the police.
In another similar case, the Rajasthan Police said that a man identified as Anuj Sharma murdered his 64-year-old aunt Saroj Sharma in December in Jaipur and chopped her body into pieces. The authorities told reporters that Anuj Sharma confessed to the murder, and said that he had killed his aunt after she refused to let him go to Delhi to attend an event.
In December, a man in Jharkhand’s Sahibgunj district had allegedly killed her wife and cut her body into 18 parts.