Aaftab Poonawala was insecure and strangled Shraddha Walkar over the man she met on dating app

According to police, Poonawaala committed the murder after a fight broke out between the couple on May 18 over Walkar meeting a man she met on a dating app. The events took place around 18:30-19:00.

“He had met a friend on the day of the incident. Aaftab was upset about it and turned violent. We have registered a ‘fit of rage’ as one of the reasons for the murder,” said Meenu Choudhary, joint commissioner of the police (south of the area). Police said the couple fought for half an hour before Walkar died.

The file presented on Tuesday has testimony from more than 182 witnesses. He claims that Poonawaala strangled Walkar and cut his body into several pieces, and dumped them in the Mehrauli jungle near his home. Choudhary said the charge sheet has been filed under Sections 302 (murder) and 201 (destruction of evidence) of the IPC.

Although police have recovered some of Walkar’s body parts, the weapons seized have not tested positive for his DNA, nor do they have traces of blood, it has been learnt. “We have recovered a few scissors, knives, saws and hammers, but we do not know if these were used in the murder,” said an officer.

Police have not been able to recover Walkar’s phone.

A source in the investigating team said that the chargesheet mentions that Aaftab was “insecure” in the relationship and had also “strangled” Walkar in the past.

“They were in a toxic relationship. He didn’t leave because he comes from a broken family, having lost his mother. He saw Aaftab as a support system. They dated for three years and often had abusive fights. We also mentioned the complaint of the two-year-old Mumbai police that Walkar had filed against him… The quote saying he was going to hack it and cut it,” another officer said.

One of the main witnesses in the case is Walkar’s father, who had filed a complaint in Mumbai and later in Delhi over her disappearance. The other witnesses are Walkar’s former colleague in Mumbai and a childhood friend. “She had confided in them about the relationship. She told her childhood friend about Aaftab’s abusive nature and told them she wanted to break things off,” said an officer.

Another witness in the case is the woman who dated Aaftab briefly after the murder. The two met on Bumble and the woman, a clinical psychologist, knew nothing of their past relationships. Police recovered Walkar’s ring from the woman and recorded her statement since she had visited the couple’s home a few weeks after the murder, even though Walkar’s body parts were still in the refrigerator.

According to the police, nine teams, including a special investigation team, were formed to find evidence and search for Walkar’s remains, and visited various locations in Himachal Pradesh, Delhi, Haryana and Maharashtra.

A total of 13-16 body parts have been recovered – pelvises, limb bones, parts of the skull – that match the DNA of Walkar’s father. Police said they also recovered Walkar’s hair from a forest area in Gurgaon. Aaftab was working in Gurgaon and allegedly threw some evidence near his office.

Various scientific tests were conducted to extract evidence: mitochondrial DNA profiling, narco analysis, layered voice analysis and facial recognition. “The results of these tests are in line with the investigation. We made several recoveries,” said the Joint CP. Mobile phones, laptops, social media apps and call details were also analyzed and recorded on the load sheet.

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