Even as Manoj Sane would have thought ‘chopping, boiling and roasting’ body parts of dead live-in partner will keep him away from the eye of the law, it was the “hunt for a dead rat” that finally trapped the 56-year-old.
According to a report in Times of India, the residents on the seventh floor of Geeta Akashdeep building in Geeta Nagar area of Mira Road, near Mumbai, started scanning their homes and the building terrace for a dead rat after foul smell on their floor became unbearable. They even knocked at Sane’s door with an appeal for a similar check of his flat, but got no response.
The Stench and When Did Neighbours Grow Suspicious
Thirty-two-year-old Saraswati Vaidya was killed in Sane’s rented flat, 704, in the morning on June 4. By noon, Sane went out to buy tools to cut the body into pieces.
According to the TOI report, on Monday morning, when members of the other three flats — 701, 702 and 703 — stepped out, they complained of some stench. On Tuesday, it got stronger.
“We three families have been very close. Sane and Vaidya rarely interacted with us. So while we cleaned our homes, we did not tell the couple about it,” Anu Srivastava, Sane’s neighbour at flat 703, was quoted as saying. Anu and her husband Vivek had moved in about a year ago, the report stated.
As they neighbours continued their scanning, they could not find the source of the stench. The report further stated that on Tuesday morning, when Vivek and Sane stepped into the lift together, Vivek’s daughter had come to see him off. However, as the smell was unbearable, Vivek asked his wife to take away his year-old daughter.
By Wednesday morning, the smell just became intolerable. The report stated that most affected was flat 701 belonging to Niraj Srivastava. “It became clear the smell was coming from flat 704,” Srivastava’s family member was quoted.
The report further said that the neighbours knocked at Sane’s flat as it did not have a doorbell. But they did not get a response. They suspicion grew as they could smell an air freshener when they came close to the flat.
By Wednesday afternoon, when Niraj’s son Somendra got home for lunch, he bumped into Sane in the lift. Somendra told Sane about the foul smell coming from his flat. Sane told Somendra he was headed for work and would return at night and check, TOI mentioned.
Building secretary Santosh Pradhan received a complaint from Sane’s neighbours about both a stench as well as choked drains. After discussion on Sane not addressing the “issue” of stench and “instead moving around wearing a mask”, the residents decided to call the police.
When the officers broke open the flat door, the stench made them vomit and the sight of body parts and blood in buckets and plastic bags in the kitchen area left them shocked.
Residents also suspected that Sane may have fed some body parts of the stray dogs as he was lately seen feeding strays — something that he had not done before. However, police on Thursday said that the theory holds no merit.
Manoj Sane as a Person. What Neighbours, Police Say
The TOI report quoted neighbours as saying that though Sane and Vaidya kept to themselves, they did participate in the annual building pooja. Residents said Vaidya rarely stepped out. “Their parcels would lie outside the flat for hours,” a resident was quoted.
The publication also approached the shopkeepers in Borivali where Sane worked. The workers at the ration shop said he rarely interacted with them. “He came across as quiet,” a kitchen studio owner was quoted.
DCP Jayant Bajbale had on Thursday revealed that Manoj Sane claimed to have been “influenced” by Shraddha Walkar‘s murder and got ideas from the case.
Sane slept in one of the two bedrooms while the body parts lay in the kitchen and the other bedroom, the TOI report stated. The apartment where the accused and the victim stayed belongs to Sonam Builders and had been given on rent for the first time.
Another TOI report stated that the rent agreement was signed by Sane and there was no mention of Vaidya.
While News18 had earlier reported that the ration where Sane used to work had been shut since May 29, the TOI report stated that the licence of the store — The Villagers Consumers Cooperative Society Ltd — was cancelled on the mentioned date, forcing him to stay at home.
The report stated that Sane used to earn around Rs 5,000 a month at the shop, while they paid Rs 10,000 rent. Vaidya is believed to have expressed concerns about household expenses.
Police said that they may have fought over financial issues as the accused too confessed about incidents of domestic violence.
The TOI report stated that Sane, though, was getting a rent of around Rs 35,000 from his flat number 701 in a seven-storey Sane Residency in Borivli. The tenant who has been living there for three years was quoted as saying that advance cheques were given to Sane, who deposited them every month.
The publication further quoted the tenant as saying Sane never harassed them and would tell them to go ahead with any repair works in the flat.
The property on which the building came up in 2008 belonged to Sane’s family. Four flats in the building belong to his relatives, the report stated. One of them told TOI that they had no ties with Manoj. Residents said he had not visited the building for years and no one knew of Vaidya, the report stated.