Aftab Amin Poonawalla, who killed his girlfriend Shraddha Walkar and chopped her body into 35 pieces, matched with other girls on Bumble and took them to his home in Delhi to spend the night. Meanwhile, Shraddha's body parts lay in the freezer.
One month after killing Shraddha, Aftab met one of these girls through the dating app Bumble and took her to his house in Chhatarpur Pahadi, where he was living in with Shraddha and had kept her chopped-up body parts.
- The woman who visited Aftab at his Chhatarpur house a few days after matching with him on Bumble, told the police that she could smell the incense sticks, and that there was a strong stench of chlorine. However, she did not suspect anything.
- At this point, Shraddha's body parts were still in the freezer and in the kitchen; while Aftab had disposed off some of them.
- A person called Mithilesh, who lives in the same building as Aftab, told India Today that he had once knocked on Aftab's door for some help. A terse Poonawalla asked him to 'never disturb him again'.
Delhi Police is now investigating the possibility whether the women Aftab met on Bumble were behind him killing Shraddha. Over the months after Shraddha's murder, Aftab brought several women home, said the police.
- Delhi Police will write to Bumble to seek details of Aftab's profile and that of the women who matched with him on the dating app.
- Bumble, the dating app where women 'Make the First Move', is headquartered in Texas.
The gruesome murder: Aftab strangled his live-in partner and sawed her body into 35 pieces and kept them in a 300-litre fridge for almost three weeks at his residence in South Delhi.
- He then dumped the body parts across a nearby jungle, in Mehrauli, over several days.
- Aftab told the police that he killed Shraddha after a quarrel over marriage and the idea of chopping her body into pieces was inspired by Dexter, an American crime TV series, reported PTI.
How Aftab tried to conceal the murder: He used sulfuric, hydrochloric acid to wash the floor to scrub off all DNA samples, which would otherwise have been found during the forensic examination. Aftab also stayed active on Shraddha's social media account to keep anyone from suspecting something amiss.
- To counter the stench in the apartment, Aftab would light agarbatti or incense sticks.
- He had also googled ways to clean blood, and read up about the human anatomy after murdering Shraddha.
Aftab kept living in the flat: According to the Delhi Police, after killing Shraddha Walkar on May 18, Aftab continued to live in the same flat.
- He also ordered food in on Zomato and other online apps.
- Sources say that Aftab had beheaded Shraddha, and stored her dismembered head in a polybag in the freezer.
- He would apparently, occasionally, look at the severed head.
- He used to impersonate Shraddha on social-media platforms and chatted with her friends until June 9, PTI reported.
Shraddha's Instagram account: On Shraddha's Instagram account, the last post is a photo of her from May 11, seven days before her boyfriend Aftab killed her. Shraddha had also posted about her trip to Rishikesh on Instagram.
- "So I tried to make a #reel. After a long tiring day of travelling 1500 kms i decided to end my day with a view, possibly a sunset. Walked down to the banks of Ganga in Vashisht gufa. Who knew that this was a calling for me, sitting at the absolute serene banks of Ganga, smoking a doob and getting lost in its beauty," the penultimate post on her Instagram account read.
How Aftab and Shraddha met: Aftab and Shraddha met each other on Bumble in 2019.
- Later, they started working at the same call centre in Mumbai and fell in love.
- Both Aftab and Shraddha's families objected to the relationship as they belonged to different faiths.
- Aftab and Shraddha took a place together in Naigaon, Vasai, Maharashtra, and began living together.
- After two years of living together in Maharashtra, Aftab and Shraddha visited Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh in March-April 2022.
- They wanted to get married, but the families were against it.
- After the trip to the hills, Aftab and Shraddha decided to move to Delhi.
- On May 8 this year, the two moved to Delhi and spent a night at a hotel in Paharganj.
- They then stayed at a hostel in Saidulajab, Delhi, for a few days before renting the Chhatarpur house.
The investigation: Shraddha's father, Vikas Madan Walkar, told the police that they were from Maharashtra's Palghar and that his daughter had met Poonawalla at the call centre where the two worked.
The investigation: Shraddha's father Vikas said that he received no word from his daughter after May 2022. Shraddha's friend Laxman Nadar, meanwhile, informed her father about Shraddha's phone being unreachable since May.
- Shraddha's father approached the Vasai police, who registered a missing person complaint and began investigating the case.
- Earlier this month, Shraddha's father landed up at her Chhatarpur flat and found it locked.
- The Vasai police referred the case to Delhi Police.
- The police then found that Shraddha was murdered five months ago.
- Police caught hold of Poonawalla from a flat in Chhatarpur on Monday, November 14.
Aftab's interrogation: Delhi Police said that upon interrogating Aftab, they found inconsistencies in his statement. He kept changing his words, said police.
- After killing Shraddha, Aftab slept in the same room.
- He would leave home every night at 2 am for 16 days to dispose off a few body parts.
- Aftab continued ordering food in on Zomato, and did not interact with anyone, in order to avoid suspicion.
- He initially told the police that Shraddha had left him in May, following an argument over marriage.
Body parts recovered: After interrogating Aftab, police launched a search for the victim's body parts at the Mehrauli forest, and a few bones were recovered from the scene.
- On Tuesday morning, the police took Aftab to the forest in Mehrauli where he disposed off Shraddha's body parts.
The big challenge now: At the moment, the biggest worry for the police is if Aftab changes his statement later.
Who is Aftab Amin Poonawalla? 28-year-old Aftab Amin Poonawalla is a Mumbai-based food blogger. His Instagram bio also called him a 'food photographer and F&B consultant'. He ran an Instagram page called 'Hungry Chokro'. The page had 601 posts and 28.5k followers as of November 15 afternoon.