Chandigarh, 15 Nov
Remaining active on Shraddha Walkar’s social media account and disposing of her body parts for several days were among the measures Aaftab Amin Poonawala allegedly took to cover up the murder of his live-in partner.
But it was only a matter of time before he broke down and the police knocked on his door.
Even when his live-in partner’s body was in the fridge after he killed her, Aftab Poonawala is said to have contacted the other woman, a psychologist, on Bumble — the same dating app on which he first contacted her had come. in 2019, reports say.
However, this woman was not the only one who visited the house, because Walkar’s body was in the refrigerator. Poonawala met several women on the dating app and had a physical relationship with them after killing Walkar. Some of his friends, food delivery men and many others visited the house.
The couple moved into the house in Mehrauli in May. On the 18th of that month, an argument broke out between them and Poonawala tried to shut her up with his hand. He later strangled her, police said.
The next day he bought a saw and a 300 liter refrigerator inspired by the American crime drama ‘Dexter’.
On May 20, he sawed her body into 35 pieces and threw them in the refrigerator.
Poonawala had studied hotel management and worked as a chef a few years ago. He had undergone a two-week training in meat cutting, which he used to chop Walkar’s body.
“He cut open her body for two days,” an official said.
The police said that Poonawala would pack the refrigerator’s freezer with the pieces and put the remaining pieces in the lower bin. After some time, he took out the frozen pieces to freeze the pieces kept in the bin.
He also used incense sticks and room freshener to suppress the foul odor.
He took out the chopped pieces, packed them in plastic bags and took them to the forest in a backpack. “He would go to the jungle around 2 a.m. and return a few hours later. He repeated this for about 20 days,” the official said.
According to the police, Poonawala is “sharp-witted” and felt more comfortable answering them in English, although he knew Hindi.
Poonawala and Walkar met on an online dating app. Later, they went to work for the same call center in Mumbai and fell in love. But their families objected to the relationship as they belonged to different religions, prompting the couple to leave the financial capital.
They went to Himachal Pradesh and later arrived in Delhi. They stayed here for a day in a hotel in Paharganj and later moved to a hostel in Saidulajab in South Delhi.
On May 15, they moved to the house in Chhattarpur Pahadi.
The police said that shortly after they moved into the South Delhi home, their relationship turned sour and they suspected each other of having affairs with other people.
Even after allegedly killing Walkar, Poonawala continued to live in the same flat and ordered food through online apps, police said.
Walkar had no contact with her relatives after moving in with Poonawala, but did chat with her friends on Instagram.
After allegedly killing her, Poonawala posed as Walkar on the app and chatted with her friends until June 9.
When her status remained inactive long after, her friends notified her relatives, who in turn approached the police.
According to the FIR, the victim’s father divorced her mother in 2016. The mother passed away a few years ago.
It also said that Walkar told her mother earlier that Poonawala beat her up. About 15 to 20 days after her mother died, she called her father and informed him about this. She had even met him in person later on.
The FIR quoting the victim’s father read, “When I asked her to leave Poonawala and return home, he apologized to her and she went back with him. She didn’t listen to me so I stopped a several months to talk to her.”
According to Ankit Chauhan, Extra DCP-I, South District, the victim’s father called Poonawala one day and learned that the couple had separated some time ago.
“He was unable to contact his daughter and the father subsequently filed a missing person complaint,” Chauhan said.
After receiving the complaint, Mumbai police traced her latest location in Delhi and also called Poonawala whose contradictory statements aroused suspicion, prompting them to snare the Delhi police.
On November 7, Mumbai Police sent the file to Delhi Police. They said that Poonawala worked in a call center in Gurugram and was allegedly in a relationship with another woman.
His landlord has claimed that tenant verification was done before the house was assigned.
“He was firm during the interrogation. But when his father came, the suspect burst into tears,” an official said.
With PTI inputs