scorecardresearch
Tuesday, Feb 07, 2023
Advertisement

Woman’s murder by live-in partner: How horror unfolded in a first-floor flat, under nose of neighbours

After Aaftab Poonawala's arrest on Saturday, police took him to Mehrauli jungle to recover the parts. Sources said they have found 13 body parts, mostly bones.

The single-room apartment is located on the first floor in a congested lane in Chhattarpur Pahadi. (Express Photo by Jignasa Sinha)

News of a murder in their midst – of a 27-year-old woman by her 28-year-old live-in partner – shook the neighbourhood of Chhattarpur Pahadi, where the two stayed on rent, but most in the locality said they never noticed anything suspicious till police arrived to arrest the accused on Saturday.

The woman, Shraddha Walkar, was strangled to death, allegedly by Aaftab Poonawala, who chopped the body into pieces and dumped them in Mehrauli jungle over months.

On a table, a bowl of potpourri still remained, used to mask the stench. (Express Photo by Jignasa Sinha)

The Indian Express Monday visited the apartment and the neighbourhood, where the couple moved on May 15. The two had submitted their ID cards to the landlord, but most neighbours never saw the woman since she was there for just three days before she was killed.

The two had submitted their ID cards to the landlord, but most neighbours never saw the woman since she was there for just three days before she was killed. (Express photo by Jignasa Sinha)

The single-room apartment is located on the first floor in a congested lane. And while the accused used agarbatti, dhoop, potpourri and room fresheners to mask the stench, there was evident odour even on Monday. On a table, a bowl of potpourri still remained, while dust had settled on the furniture.

Subscriber Only Stories
UPSC Key- February 7, 2023: Know about Turkey and Syria Earthquake, Ex si...
Joe Biden’s a great President. He should not run again
In this Bengal district, solid, plastic waste management now a people’s m...
Delhi Confidential | GOAT & the gift: PM Narendra Modi gets a Lionel ...

The accused bought a new fridge, to store the body parts, from a nearby dealer on May 16.

A shopkeeper said he would see Aftaab regularly but there was nothing suspicious about him. (Express photo by Jignasa Sinha)

Their downstairs neighbour works at a private firm and often spends the day at his workplace. On the first floor, a neighbour, who refused to be named, said, “We shifted here in July. I have never seen or heard about the woman. We would see Aaftab going to work or roaming around, but never suspected anything. He was always polite.”

Another neighbour, Kusum Lata, said she “might” have seen the woman once or twice when the couple first moved in. “A lot of youngsters live here and invite their friends. He would play loud music and sometimes we would hear arguments but that is very common here…”

Advertisement
To dispose of the parts, he walked to dumping yards, cremation grounds and jungle areas. (Express photo by Jignasa Sinha)

A shopkeeper said he would see Aftaab regularly but there was nothing suspicious about him. Many in the neighbourhood thought he lived alone.

Police said he would step out around 1-2 am to dispose of the body parts, over two-three months. Police said the area has several young tenants who are out during late hours, so his movements didn’t evoke suspicion.

A police officer said, “It took him almost a day to cut and pack the body into small poly bags. He did all this in the bathroom and wiped the floor several times.”

Advertisement

To dispose of the parts, he walked to dumping yards, cremation grounds and jungle areas. “After almost two-three months, he discarded the head and the torso,” said the officer.

After his arrest on Saturday, police took him to Mehrauli jungle to recover the parts. Sources said they have found 13 body parts, mostly bones.

First published on: 14-11-2022 at 22:03 IST
Next Story

Belgium captain Eden Hazard keen to prove doubters wrong in Qatar

Latest Comment
Post Comment
Read Comments
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
close