A case that wracked our brains and shocked us a week ago was the Aftab-Shraddha Delhi murder case. For the unversed, the Delhi Police arrested Aftab Amin Poonawala for allegedly murdering his live-in girlfriend Shraddha and then dissecting her body and disposing of them over a period of 18 days across forest areas in Delhi. The accused allegedly tried to dupe the Delhi Police at the early stage of the investigation. However, even while he removed material evidence, the Digital trail he left behind helped the Police to ascertain the truth of the case and expose his purported crime.
According to sources, Aftab and Shraddha met on the dating app, Bumble. They decided to be in a live-in relationship after Shraddha’s parents conveyed their disagreement about an inter-faith relationship. On May 18, the day Aftab allegedly murdered Shraddha, the couple apparently got into an argument with each other over household expenses. The fight is said to have escalated to Aftab strangling Shraddha to the death between 8 and 10 pm that night. Aftab allegedly kept Shraddha’s body in his house overnight and went the next day to buy a knife and a fridge. According to his statement to the Police, Aftab dismembered Shraddha’s body in 35 pieces, stored them in the newly bought fridge and disposed of them over a period of 18 days in the forest areas of Mehrauli.
Unfortunately, Shraddha was estranged from her family during the time, because they were against the relationship. It, therefore, took them 6 months to notice that something was off. Shraddha is said to have kept in touch with only her mother after moving out, with whom she had confided that Aftab would abuse her. Shraddha’s friends have also claimed that Aftab used to beat her. Further information about Aftab’s purported psychotic behaviour after the murder has shocked people. “More than a week before murdering Shraddha on May 18, 2022, I had made up my mind to kill Shraddha. Even on that day, we had a fight. I was determined to kill her but suddenly she became emotional and started crying. So I held back for later,” ANI reported quoting a Delhi Police source citing Aftab’s confession.
After allegedly committing the murder, Aftab reportedly used to order frequently through Zomato or other online food delivery apps, but he would always order for two people. He reportedly also ordered readymade tea from places like Chai Point rather than buying sugar, tea leaves and milk. This he allegedly did to minimise any outside contact. Aftab told the police that after killing Shraddha, it took him 10 hours to chop up her body into pieces. He was quite tired by the time he was done chopping her body up. He took a break. He had a beer and smoked cigarettes before resuming the crime. After all this, he also took a shower, ordered dinner from Zomato, and watched a film on Netflix that night.
Although Aftab thought clearly to dispose of material evidence, he failed to clear digital evidence. During Delhi Police’s initial investigation in the case, initially Aftab Amin told the police that Shraddha left his flat on May 22, after the two had a fight. Back then, he said that Shraddha had left all her belongings in his flat and only carried her phone while leaving. He further claimed that since then, the two did not come in contact, a media house reported citing police sources. However, while checking the phone call records of Aftab and Shraddha and investigating their locations, the police uncovered the truth.The police obtained the bank statement of both Shraddha and Aftab, which showed a transaction of Rs 54,000 from Shraddha’s net banking account app to Aftab’s account on May 26. The said transaction exposed Aftab’s lies, in which he previously stated that Shraddha was unreachable after May 22 and that he was not in contact with her. Upon tracing, the location of the May 26 bank transaction turned out to be the Mehrauli police station area, which made police question Aftab if Shraddha took her phone while leaving, and how can its location be traced to his flat. To this Aftab had no answer, and ultimately he confessed to his crime after further questioning by police.
“I am fond of watching web series and serials on crime and it was while watching these shows that I came up with ideas on preserving the body parts and keeping Shraddha alive in the eyes of her family and friends. It was to preempt any doubts or suspicions about her whereabouts that I kept posting on Shradhha’s Instagram profile after the murder. I did it all by myself,” the accused told Delhi Police. He apparently also revealed that he was inspired by web series like Dexter which gave him ideas of how to dispose of her body. According to police sources, the accused first disposed of her liver and intestines after mincing them. Since he was a trained chef, he knew how to use the knife on her flesh, police added. The liver and intestines were disposed of in the nearby forest area of Chattarpur and Mehrauli, sources said.