Palghar, Maharashtra: A home-owner was jolted when he opened his tenant's room in Boisar town in this Maharashtra district to find a woman's skeleton stuffed in a plastic water drum, police said on Monday.
The Palghar police, which is investigating the case, is likely to send a team to Bihar to pick up the suspects believed to be holed up there.
According to a police complaint lodged by Lokesh Mithalal Jain, he decided to break open a room that had remained shut for 18 months as his tenants had gone away last year and stopped paying rent for the past five months or so.
"The complainant said that the tenants had left in February 2019, promising to return, and instructed him not to give the room away to anybody else. They continued to pay the monthly rent of Rs4,000 (Dh196.42) via electronic transfer from Belwara village in Bihar's Saharsa district. However, the rent suddenly stopped coming around six months ago," said investigating officer Pradip Kasbe of Boisar MIDC Police Station.
Since the room was lying vacant and he was not getting rent, Jain broke it open only to discover human remains stuffed inside the water drum in the loft and alerted the police.
As per preliminary investigations, the skeletal remains are suspected to be of Bulbul Deepak Jha, 20, who used to live in the room along with her husband Deepak, 25, her in-laws Pawan Jha, 50 and Bachhudevi, 45, and a sister-in-law Neetu Mukesh Thakur.
According to Jain's statement, sometime in February 2019, Bulbul Jha had been brutally assaulted by her husband who even attempted to set her ablaze, in which she sustained burn injuries. She had then lodged a police complaint.
Police had arrested Deepak Jha who was later released on bail, after which the family kept forcing her to withdraw the complaint, but she refused.
The investigators surmise that the family may have allegedly eliminated her and decamped from the rented accommodation in Palghar to their home in Bihar.
The police and Jain are flummoxed how the neighbours got no inkling of such a serious crime, nor did anybody report if any foul smell emanated from the room since the skeleton was found 18 months after the crime was allegedly committed.