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Mehrauli murder case: Accused taken to forest area where he dumped live in partner's body parts

Mehrauli murder case: Accused taken to forest area where he dumped live-in partner's body parts

Mehrauli murder case: Accused taken to forest area where he dumped live-in partner's body parts
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By PTI Nov 15, 2022 10:35:16 PM IST (Updated)

The officials said the accused bought a 300-litre fridge to keep the severed body parts and used incense sticks and room freshners to suppress the foul smell emanating from the corpse.

Delhi Police on Tuesday took Aaftab Amin Poonawala, accused of killing his live-in partner, to the forest area in south Delhi’s Chhatarpur and spent nearly three hours to locate specific places where he had allegedly dumped her body parts.

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The police have also recovered 13 body parts, believed to be of the woman, from different areas which will be sent for DNA analysis.
The investigating team is also likely to approach dating app Bumble through which the duo met.
”We want to access his account to analyse his profile and know how many women he was in contact with and screen the chats to understand his psyche. Based on the profile analysis we will also be approaching those people with whom he was in contact with and invited them to the same residence where he had killed the woman,” the official said.
Police are also trying to get in touch with the accused’s friends and will probe whether he was in relationship with multiple women after killing Walkar or he was cheating on her when they were together.
According to a senior police official, one of victim Shraddha Walkar’s friends Laxman, who alerted her father, will be asked to join the investigation. The accused will again be taken to different locations on Wednesday for further probe in the case.
”We will approach some of his friends whom he met before being in relationship with the woman,” the official said, adding, his social media account is also being analysed to get details about their common friends.
Twenty eight-year-old Aftab allegedly strangled his live-in partner, chopped her body into nearly 35 pieces, kept them in a fridge for almost three weeks at his residence in South Delhi’s Mehrauli before dumping them across the city over several days past midnight, police said on Monday.
Police officials said as the area is home to many young tenants, who usually go out during odd hours, nobody may have suspected Poonawala’s movements late in the night.
The officials said the accused bought a 300-litre fridge to keep the severed body parts and used incense sticks and room freshners to suppress the foul smell emanating from the corpse.
It is suspected that when another women came to his flat, Poonawala used to shift the body pieces from the fridge to his cupboard so that if anyone opens the fridge, he is not suspected, they said.
Details of the killing and its grisly aftermath came to light almost six months later with the arrest of Aftab Ameen Poonawala, officials said.
A day after gut-wrenching details of the gruesome murder came in light, Poonawala, with his face covered with a white cloth and surrounded by police personnel, was taken to the woods.
Some chopped body parts of the woman have been found and police are looking for the murder weapon, officials said.
A friend of Walkar said there could be a ”big conspiracy” behind her murder, while another claimed she had once called him saying Poonawala would kill her.
Laxman, who had alerted her family members after being unable to contact her, claimed, ”Once Walkar (when she was living in Vasai town near Mumbai) had messaged me and asked me to come and take her saying Aaftab would kill her.” Some of the friends then reached out to Walkar and warned Poonawala, he said.
”We were then going to approach police against Aaftab but Shraddha stopped us,” he claimed.
Meanwhile, a doctor who treated Poonawalla, said the accused had visited him in May, the same month when the woman was killed, for treating a wound.
Dr Anil Kumar recalled Poonawalla was very aggressive and restless when he had come to him for treatment and when he asked him about his injury, he claimed he got hurt while cutting fruit.
A senior police official said that during the day, the ”crime scene was recreated to understand and ascertain the sequence of events that led to the heinous crime and how he managed to locate the spots where different pieces could be dumped without inviting public glare”.
Head of the Department of Crime Scene Management at FSL Rohini, Sanjeev Gupta, said a two-member team of experts on Saturday visited the scene of crime and collected at least seven-eight bone pieces along with blood stains.
”These exhibits were handed over to the Investigating Officer. We are yet to receive the exhibits from police. A DNA analysis will be done to establish the identity of the woman,” he told PTI.
Blood samples of the woman’s parents would also be collected for DNA analysis.
According to officials, the owner of a shop from where Poonawala had allegedly bought the saw couldn’t share any details about any purchase.
”The owner of the electronic shop from where he had allegedly bought the fridge said he also doesn’t remember about the payment. The phone of the accused has been seized and will be examined,” the police official said.
Poonawala and Shraddha Walkar fell in love while they were working at a call centre in Mumbai. But their families objected to the relationship as they were from different faiths, prompting the couple to move to South Delhi’s Mehrauli earlier this year, a senior police official said.
"Around mid-May, the couple had an argument over marriage, which escalated and Poonawala killed her," Ankit Chauhan, Additional DCP-I, South district, said.
"The accused then cut her body into over 35 pieces. He bought a 300 litre fridge to preserve the body parts and stocked up on incense sticks and room freshners. He disposed the pieces in different parts of the city over several days. He used to step out past midnight to dump the severed body parts," he added.
Chauhan said the woman was not in proper talking terms with her family due to their differences over her relationship with Poonawala.
According to a complaint filed by the victim’s father in Mumbai, one of her friends informed them in September that the woman’s phone had been unreachable for two months. The complaint alleged that Poonawala used to beat up Walkar on occasions and that she had informed her family about it earlier.
"The woman’s father called the accused up but was told that the couple had parted ways sometime back. Unable to contact his daughter, the man then filed a missing complaint," Chauhan said.
Poonawala has been remanded to a five-day custody and further investigation is underway, the police said.
Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) chief Swati Maliwal has called for stringent punishment to the accused.
"In a heart wrenching incident in Delhi, a woman was killed by her boyfriend, who cut her body into 35 pieces and kept them in a fridge. He dumped the body parts in various parts of the city. What kind of cruel people are there in the society. Police have arrested the accused and the cruel man should be given strict punishment," she said in a tweet in Hindi.
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