In the latest development to the gruesome murder of 32-year-old Saraswati Vaidya in Mira Road, Mumbai, three women claiming to be the victim's sisters have told the police that Saraswati and Manoj Sane, the accused, were not live-in partners but in fact married.
The 'sisters' claimed that the couple were married for a long time and kept it a secret because of their age gap — Sane is 56 and Vaidya was 32.
In the investigation, police found that Vaidya used to introduce Sane as her maternal uncle or 'Mama'. According to one of the sisters, they married in a temple but there is so far no evidence to support the legality of their marriage.
The investigating officials claim that since the accused had chopped up Vaidya's body, including her head, and boiled parts of it in a pressure cooker, it is difficult to identify the body. A DNA test is expected to help the police acquire crucial evidence in the case.
The Mira Road police in their investigation found that the accused, Sane, frequently assaulted Vaidya. The police will investigate this further to see if Vaidya ever reported this to any of her sisters.
Initially, Sane had told the police that Vaidya was an orphan and had no family. However, after the news of the gruesome crime broke, the three women claiming to be Vaidya's sisters turned up at the police station.
The officials said that the emergence of three sisters of the victim can surely help in identifying the body. The police recorded the three women's statements today in different places. One of the sisters was also taken to JJ Hospital, where the recovered body parts of the victim are kept.
The police said that the three women have told them that all four of them were orphans, and grew up in an ashram. They had to leave when they turned 18, they said, but each is now married.
Similarly, Vaidya had lived in the ashram before moving to Mumbai. One of the sisters resided in Borivali, and the victim allegedly met Sane in a ration shop in Borivali.
Saraswati was apparently moved to Jankibai Apte Balika Ashram in Ahmednagar in 2008 on a court order, which the police is now investigating.