NEARLY a week since they arrested Pintu Sharma for allegedly killing a man and flushing parts of his remains down the toilet in a residential building, the Virar police is investigating whether Sharma had planned the murder and disposal of the body months in advance.
On January 23, residents of an upmarket locality in Virar West called the police after their clogged drains led to the discovery of flesh and fingers in the septic tank. Sharma, 40, was arrested the same day for the murder of Ganesh Kolatkar, in what Sharma claimed was an accident after Kolatkar, an acquaintance, fell and hit his head on the ground, sustaining fatal injuries. Police have claimed that Sharma said he panicked, hacked the body and separated the bones from the flesh over two days, flushing parts of the remains down the apartment’s toilet. According to the police, he disposed of the bones by putting them into a black polythene bag that he threw out of a moving train.
Investigators now believe Sharma may have planned to bring Kolatkar to his flat and murder him there.
While Sharma has been evasive in his responses, police are investigating why he had rented an apartment in Virar, despite living in Santacruz. “The house in Virar was leased out to Sharma since January 1. He had taken the house on rent just days prior to the incident. The house was barely furnished — there were no rugs or curtains. He, however, had a hacksaw, with which he cut the body. He used a bucket in the house to collect the remains,” said an officer with the Virar police.
Kolatkar, who ran a printing press, and Sharma were reportedly casual acquaintances. Sharma had offered Kolatkar money when the latter was in need. “Kolatkar had repaid part of the money, but had been avoiding Sharma,” the officer said. He added that Kolatkar’s sister has told investigators that the family knew of Sharma and that Kolatkar had borrowed money from him, but had met him for the first time on January 15 when he visited and left with Kolatkar, after which the latter never returned.
Sharma has been claiming that the incident was an accident, but investigators believe Sharma attacked Kolatkar. “Until we find the skull and other bones, we won’t know if Kolatkar actually fell,” a senior officer said.
Police are still investigating how Sharma was adept at hacking down the body. “There’s nothing to show that he took a course in anatomy as reported, but he managed to cut the body and separate the bone from flesh. We are still investigating the matter,” said Gaurav Singh, Superintendent of Police, Palghar, adding, “The investigation into a kidnapping case against him has also been reopened.”
There is a kidnapping case registered against him in Waliv, which the police believe, might have been ended into a similar murder. Sharma had been arrested and subjected to interrogation in that case, but investigators failed to find a clue. “He had been released on bail because we had not gotten anything concrete. This time, he keeps changing his version. So, the actual chain of events and even the motive for the murder is unclear,” the senior officer said.