Shraddha murder: How Aftab meticulously planned body disposal

24 November,2022 07:49 AM IST |  Mumbai  |  Faizan Khan

Though Poonawala claimed in court that murder was spur-of-the-moment, police tell mid-day he surveyed every deserted spot around his house, and even noted down presence of CCTV cameras on roads leading to them before he chopped up Shraddha

A CCTV camera (circled) near Poonawala’s flat in Chhatarpur Hills; (right) the road Poonawala took to reach Mehrauli forest where he disposed of Walkar’s body parts. Pics/Faizan Khan

Aftab Poonawala had carefully planned how to dispose of Shraddha Walkar*s body parts after he murdered her, as per the Mehrauli police in Delhi who are investigating the case. Delhi cops have also learnt that in a bid to avoid being tracked and getting caught, he had left his mobile phone at home whenever he left to dump the body parts and studied how to destroy evidence. This meticulous planning is making it hard for cops to connect the dots and arrive at a proper sequence of events.

Cops said that Poonawala not only took inspiration from crime series like Dexter, but also studied how to destroy evidence so that law enforcement agencies are not able to pin the crime on him due to lack of hard evidence even if the murder is discovered.

Also read: Mehrauli killing: Accused Poonawala likely to undergo narco analysis on Thursday

Aftab Poonawala

Delhi police, while producing Poonawala before the court on Tuesday, had sought his custody on the grounds that they needed time to establish the sequence of the events and find evidence.

Left phone at home

Sources in the police department said that cops have Poonawala*s call detail record (CDR) of the past six months, but his location in the months of May and June was at his Chhattarpur Hills flat. Poonawala, during interrogation, confessed to the crime and told the cops that he disposed of most of Walkar*s body in the Mehrauli forest area, which is just 2 km away from his flat, and some at Gurugram forest which is near his place of work.

A CCTV camera in the area where Poonawala lived. Pic/Faizan Khan

Cops have found that as per the CDR analysis, his location was home during the times he claimed he was out. This had made the cops believe that he left his phone behind.

No CCTV footage

Police officers also believe that he studied how to destroy evidence due to unavailability of CCTV camera footage. "It appears that he was well aware that he had been caught on CCTV cameras while stepping outside his house. There is a CCTV camera right opposite his flat apart from the many in the area and the shops. However, as the case came to light after six months, none of the footage is available anymore," said a police officer.

Delhi police have barricaded parts of the Mehrauli forest area where Poonawala disposed of Walkar*s body parts. Pic/ANI

Cops have checked thousands of CCTV cameras and approached hundreds of shops near his house and on the route to the forest areas, but to no avail.

"Delhi police came to us seeking footage from May and June, but we have the footage of only the past 25 days. Cops had approached many other shops, too, but no one has that big a storage," said Rajan Bansal, owner of the hardware shop from where Poonawala had bought a hacksaw blade, hammer and nails.

Other aspects

Poonawala took months to dispose of the body and also kept Walkar*s social media profiles active for a few months after the murder to ensure there was no suspicion. Cops also said that Poonawala was aware that Walkar was not in touch with her family. "Only a few of her friends had tried to contact her on social media as her number was off. And he responded to some of them on social media, so no one suspected anything was wrong," the police officer said.

The map found from Poonawala*s flat marking spots to dispose of the body parts is another reason cops suspect he had planned. "The plan led us to suspect that he had recced the area and selected locations inside the forest," an officer privy to the information said.

Police officer said that Poonawala planned each and every step after the murder and that he only got scared after Delhi police called him when Walkar*s family filed a missing person complaint with the Vasai police on October 12.

Final polygraph delayed

The final polygraph test on Aftab Poonawala could not be done on Wednesday as he reportedly had a fever. Doctors said he was not fit to undergo a polygraph test.

"We have already done the pre-polygraph test on Tuesday and were prepared for the final round. But the cops informed us that he was not well, so the test could not be conducted," said an official from the Forensic Science Laboratory in Rohini.

Meanwhile, a team of Delhi police again visited Poonawala*s flat on Wednesday to carry out further search with the help of forensic experts. Another team went to Mehrauli forest to inspect places revealed by Poonawala. Cops have also called divers to search the Mehrauli pond to see if any other body parts of Shraddha Walkar can be found there.

Shraddha Walkar murder Aftab Poonawala delhi mumbai mumbai crime branch mumbai crime news
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