THE DELHI Police chargesheet filed against Aaftab Poonawala, accused of killing his live-in partner Shraddha Walkar, has revealed that he initially tried to mislead investigators by stating that after the murder on May 18, 2022, he used a stone grinder to dispose of the bones, before getting rid of the powder. On further questioning, he told police that he had, in fact, cut the body into 17 pieces, which he discarded over the next few months, the chargesheet states.
The revelations were made on the basis of Aaftab’s disclosure statement to the police. Denying the allegations in the chargesheet, his lawyer, M S Khan, said: “We will make our case during trial.”
Police also investigated Aaftab’s food delivery bills to claim that although he ordered lunch for two persons on the day of the murder, he ordered only one ‘chicken roll’ for dinner, implying that “she was dead at night as food for only one person was ordered”.
Furthermore, Aaftab’s purchase of 16 bottles of water (20 litres each) on May 19, 20 and 21 was “unusual”, says the chargesheet, alleging that “he cut the body into pieces and used this much amount of water to clean the blood”. A purchase of 11 kgs of dry ice has also been listed as evidence against Aaftab, claiming that he “needed this dry ice to preserve the body parts of Shraddha”.
According to police, Aaftab killed Shraddha after a fight broke out between them on May 18 over Shraddha allegedly meeting a man she got to know on a dating app.
As per the chargesheet, Aaftab told police that he purchased a saw, three blades, a hammer and a plastic clip from a hardware store after the murder. “I cut the hands from the wrists with the help of the saw and kept them in a white polythene (bag),” it quotes him as saying.
He sustained a minor cut on his left hand while using the saw. He then placed the polythene bag in the lower cabinet of the kitchen, it states.
“I disposed of one thigh part in the jungles of Chattarpur Pahari… Over the next four-five days, I cut the body into 17 pieces, three pieces of each hand, three pieces of each leg, head, torso, two pieces of pelvis and thumb,” the chargesheet quotes Aaftab as saying.
He bought a refrigerator on May 19.
“Soon after, I came in contact with a girl… through Bumble app. She also visited my flat and used to stay at night several times… Whenever she visited my flat, I used to clean the refrigerator and put the body parts in the lower cabinet (of the kitchen). After she left, I used to keep the remaining body parts — head, torso and both forearms — in the refrigerator,” the chargesheet quotes Aaftab as saying.
The investigators claimed that Aaftab disclosed new facts on November 19, 2022, regarding the use of a “paring knife, scissors and hammer that was used to cut/ break the body… and that all these weapons are lying in his flat”.
According to the chargesheet, Aaftab claimed that Shraddha suspected “that he was cheating on her” because of his friendship with women from Dubai, Nagpur and Gurgaon. The police chargesheet also states that Aaftab was “aggressive” and “used to beat up Shraddha over petty issues”.
The investigators claimed that after the murder, when a common friend of the couple tried to enquire about Shraddha’s whereabouts, Aaftab “impersonated Shraddha” and tried to “make an alibi” that she had left him. According to police, Aaftab had access to Shraddha’s phone. So, he replied to this friend on WhatsApp stating that “she (Shraddha) was not in the city and was headed to Rishikesh on a trip”.
Citing an Uber cab driver’s statement, police said Aaftab had boarded his cab on October 18, 2022, had stopped at a wine shop and disposed of Shraddha’s hair, bag, saw and a chopper.
A total of 13-16 body pieces — pelvis, limb bones, parts of skull – have been recovered, which have matched the DNA samples taken from Shraddha’s father, said police. Police said they also recovered Shraddha’s hair from a forest area in Gurgaon. Aaftab worked in Gurgaon and allegedly dumped a few pieces of evidence near his office, police said.