Delhi Police has solved the six-month-old murder case and arrested Aftab Ameen Poonawala.
The Delhi Police, investigating the Shraddha Walkar murder case, is now probing if accused Aftab Ameen Poonawala had rented a flat in Delhi’s Chhatarpur as part of a conspiracy to kill her. Aftab was arrested for killing his girlfriend Shraddha, chopping her body into 35 pieces, and disposing them as the Delhi Police solved the six-month-old murder case.
The police revealed Aftab was a food blogger who used to work at a call centre in the national capital. The couple had frequent fights, they said.
The accused and the victim, who met on a dating site, were in a relationship since 2019 and moved to Delhi this year, police sources told news agency ANI. Prior to this, they were in Maharashtra.
They used to travel to various places together and went to hill stations in March-April, said police. In May, they travelled to Himachal Pradesh where they met a man who lived in Delhi’s Chhatarpur. After shifting to Delhi, they had initially stayed at the man’s flat, reports said.
Later, Aftab rented a flat in Chhatarpur and shifted there with Shraddha. She was reportedly strangled to death on May 18 in the Chhatarpur flat. The police found that the flat was taken on rent only a few days before the murder.
“It is also a matter of investigation whether Aftab had already hatched a conspiracy to kill her,” police sources said.
The accused, who allegedly chopped the victim’s body into 35 pieces, told the police he used to go out at 2 am to dispose them.
Aftab has done his graduation and his family lived in Mumbai, the police found.
“Aftab’s social media handles reveal he had done food blogging for some time, but he didn’t make any video for a long time. His last post came in February, after which there was no activity on his profile. He has more than 28,000 followers on his Instagram,” sources said.
Till some time back, both Shraddha and Aftab used to work at the same call centre, said police.
“It is learnt that after the murder, Aftab used to return home by 6-7 pm and then take the pieces of the dead body kept in the fridge for disposal.” He used to carry the body pieces in a black foil but throw them without the foil in the forest to avoid suspicion, the sources said.
Aftab’s arrest came after the victim’s father lodged a complaint. He has been sent to police remand for five days, police said yesterday.
Police said that Aftab, after searching on Google, cleaned blood stains from the floor with some chemicals and disposed the stained clothes. He then shifted the body to bathroom and bought a fridge from a nearby shop. Later, he chopped the body into small pieces and put them in the fridge.
“The two met on a dating app in Mumbai. They were in a live-in relationship for three years and had shifted to Delhi. Soon after, Shraddha started pressurizing Aftab to marry her,” Ankit Chauhan, Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), South Delhi told news agency ANI.
“The two quarreled frequently and it used to get out of control. In this particular instance that occurred on May 18, the man lost his temper and strangled her,” said Mr Chauhan.
“The accused told us that he chopped her body into pieces and disposed them in forest areas near Chhatarpur Enclave. He has been arrested and investigation is on,” he added.
Sources said Aftab used to sleep in the same room where he had chopped the victim’s body. He used to see the face after keeping it in the fridge and also cleaned the fridge after disposing the body parts, said sources.
Sources said Aftab had relations with many girls before Shraddha. Before committing the crime, he also watched many crime movies and web series, including the American crime drama series Dexter.
In September, a friend of Shraddha informed her family that they were not in contact with her for the last two and a half months and her mobile number was also switched off. Her family checked her social media accounts and found no updates during this period.
In November, her father, Vikash Madan Walker, a resident of Palghar in Maharashtra, approached Mumbai police and lodged a missing person’s complaint.
During investigation, it was found that Aftab and Shraddha had shifted to Delhi and lived in a rented apartment in Chhattarpur Pahadi area. The police then traced Aftab and caught him.
During interrogation, Aftab confessed to the crime and said that they fought often as Shraddha was pressurizing him for marriage.
Police also recovered some bones from Aftab’s rented flat and officials said efforts are on to recover the remaining parts of the body.
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