Last Updated: June 09, 2023, 14:43 IST
The gruesome murder case of Saraswati Vaidya in many ways reminds one of the Shraddha Walkar case with the distinction that as a Mumbai reporter, I did not see the case and accused Aaftab Poonawala’s monstrosity up close as it primarily broke out in Delhi and the regions around it.
Walking up to seventh floor of Akashganga society at Mira Road, where the murder took place, we were greeted by a strong stench. For someone with a bad cold, I could still smell the stink.
The first thought in my mind then was how accused Manoj Sane lived with his live-in partner’s chopped up body and the odour all these days. The neighbouring houses had two families — the next-door neighbour had a child not older than one year, while the other was the family that had reported the case and brought the chilling murder to light.
The door of the accused’s house was plain with no refurbishing — just as provided by the builder. Had it not been for ‘704’ written with chalk on it, one could easily assume no one was living there. What was peculiar about ‘704’ written in chalk was the smiley inside 0 which made me wonder of the stark contrast with the gruesome incident that took place inside the house.
The stairs next to the house had ‘Swastik’ and other religious symbols stuck to them which, according to neighbours, was done when there was small fight amongst them over keeping a garbage bag next to flat number 704. According to the neighbours, the couple did not interact much with the residents and no one ever visited them. Vaidya would lock herself in the house once Sane left for work. However, both were extremely fussy about the surroundings of their residence.
The family with the young child was among those who are traumatised and wish to move away from the vicinity of the house. As I was reporting from outside the house and moved closer to the door, it brought chills down my spine when I wondered about the horrific scenes the cops must have been witness to.
Even a few hours after I had left from that place, I could neither eat nor drink. While it was yet another assignment for me, those staying next door to horror house will have to live with this memory forever.
In places on the outskirts of the city, such cases immediately create a buzz. I had experienced this with the Shraddha Walkar case. Similarly, when we were heading to the murder spot, people were not aware of the name of the society. However, when asked about the house where the gruesome murder took place, you would be guided to the right spot.
The gruesome case
Saraswati Vaidya, 32, was brutally murdered by 56-year-old Manoj Sane at Mira Road in Mumbai Metropolitan region (MMR). Both of them were in a live-in relationship since the last 10 years. Cops found 13 body parts of Vaidya at their residence, with most parts finely chopped. Blood and flesh was kept in buckets outside the washroom, while some parts were also boiled in a cooker.