The final moments of Shraddha Walkar before Aftab Poonawala strangled her and then cut up her body
It’s been four days since the news emerged of Aftab Amin Poonawala killing his live-in partner Shraddha Walkar, chopping her body into 35 pieces and then dumping them piece-by-piece in the nearby forest area. With each passing day, details of the toxic relationship that the two had and the gruesome murder keep emerging — shocking the nation repeatedly.
First came the revelations of his chopping her body and storing them in a fridge he bought explicitly for that reason, to then it emerging that he dated other women and brought them to their Delhi’s Chattarpur house while her body was stored in the freezer.
Amid all this, it’s also been revealed just how abusive their relationship was — friends of Shraddha have said that she had told them that Aftab “abused and beat” her on several occasions. In fact, one of her friends, Rajat, was quoted as telling ANI, “They used to have a lot of fights. There was a fight to such an extent that she texted me on WhatsApp and asked me to take her somewhere that night. She said that if she lived with Aftab that night, he would kill her.”
During the course of their investigations, the police have uncovered that Aftab killed Shraddha on 18 May after the two got into an argument on that very day. But, what did they fight about? What exactly pushed Aftab over to kill Shraddha, the girl he was dating since 2019?
Argument turns deadly
The Delhi Police has revealed that the couple got into an argument on 18 May — the last for Shraddha as Aftab strangled her to death that day.
The reason for their latest argument: shifting of household items from Mumbai and the expenses over the issue. Aftab is learnt to have told police he refused Walkar’s request to fetch their belongings from Mumbai.
Investigators have revealed that money issues had become a factor in the couple’s relationship of late, since both had left their jobs and moved to Delhi into their one-room apartment, with a rent of Rs 9,000, in Chattarpur Pahadi.
Though the argument on 18 May was the last that the two had, cops have said that the couple had regular quarrels mostly over suspicions of cheating on each other.
Sources within the police force have revealed that Shraddha was suspicious of Aftab cheating on her and dating other women.
A social activist, with whom Shraddha had participated in a Mumbai beach clean-up drive, told news agency PTI that the deceased suspected her live-in partner of cheating on her and appeared quiet and aloof during the cleanliness campaigns.
Shreha Dhargalkar, who runs an NGO, said, “She told me that she was having financial problems. She did not mention her live-in relationship, but said her boyfriend wanted her to leave Mumbai and Maharashtra. Due to their fights and misunderstandings as well as Walkar’s suspicion that Poonawalla was cheating on her, she could not concentrate properly on her work. Their relationship was in a constant state of turmoil and there were times when the couple had no money.”
When Aftab almost killer her earlier
The 28-year-old food blogger also revealed to the Delhi Police that while he did kill Shraddha on 18 May, he had wanted to kill her earlier and almost did it 10 days before he actually did.
Aftab told the investigators that he would have killed Shraddha Walkar 10 days before if he hadn’t turned ‘emotional’.
The two had fought fiercely at the time, and Aftab “would have strangled her that very day”.
“But suddenly, Shraddha became emotional and started weeping, and Aftab hesitated,” sources were quoted as telling NDTV.
The two had been bickering over Shraddha’s suspicion that Aftab was cheating on her and speaking to another woman on his phone.
Aftab is currently in police custody. The police are yet to find Shraddha’s mobile phone, or the murder weapon and the backpack that Aftab used to dispose of Shraddha’s body parts.
One of the biggest challenges for the police at the moment is the reliability of Aftab’s confession. Given that he has changed his statements several times in the past, the cops are worried he might do the same again.
The police want to conduct a narco test on Aftab, and have sought permission from the Saket court. They are also likely to seek an extension of Aftab’s custody.