MUMBAI, June 9 (PTI): Manoj Sane (56), arrested for allegedly murdering his `live-in partner’ Saraswati Vaidya, was in fact married to her but the couple had concealed this fact, police said on Friday.
Sane has claimed that Vaidya committed suicide by drinking poison and he only tried to dispose of her body by chopping it up, officials said.
Sane, arrested on Thursday from Mira Road (East) area on the outskirts of Mumbai, also allegedly told the interrogators that he was HIV-positive and never had any physical relationship with the 36-year-old Vaidya.
“The couple did not register their marriage, but they had married by performing rituals in a temple,” said deputy commissioner of police Jayant Bajbale of Mira-Bhayandar, Vasai Virar commissionerate, citing the statements of the deceased’s three sisters.
Vaidya had informed her sisters about the marriage, but as there was a considerable age gap between them, the couple did not make it public, he said.
The remains of the deceased’s body will be handed over to her sisters for last rites as per their wish once DNA testing and other formalities are over, the official added.
Vaidya’s mother had died when the sisters were very young while their father had abandoned them, DCP Bajbale said.
Saraswati studied up to standard 10th at an `Ashram’ school (school for orphans) in Ahmednagar district and came to Mumbai to live with her relatives after turning 18, he said.
After they met, Sane had arranged a job of salesperson for her, he said.
Sane told police that Vaidya died on the morning of June 3 after consuming poison with foam coming out of her mouth, and fearing that he would be held responsible for her death, he decided to dispose of the body.
He also claimed that after disposing of the body pieces he had planned to commit suicide, police officials said.
Police were yet to verify these claims, they said, adding that it was possible that the accused was trying to mislead the investigators.
On Wednesday, police found Vaidya’s body parts, some cooked in pressure cooker and even roasted, inside a flat in Naya Nagar area of Mira Road township in Thane district. She and Sane had been living in the rented flat, according to police.
Sane has been remanded in police custody till June 16.
The gory details of the crime evoked the memories of the Shraddha Walkar murder case.
The motive behind the crime is still not clear, officials said.
It is suspected that Vaidya died on June 4, but the death came to light on June 7 when the couple’s neighbours, unable to tolerate the stench coming out of the flat, called police.
Neighbours also told the police that Sane had been feeding stray dogs for the past few days, something he had never done before.