Shraddha Walker Murder Case: What We Know So Far

Shraddha Walker Murder Case: What We Know So Far
Citizens demonstrating and appealing for justice for Shraddha Walker | Image source: News18

As part of its investigation into Aftab Ameen Poonawala’s arrest, the Delhi Police has decided to conduct a psycho-assessment test on him. He has been accused of strangling his live-in partner Shraddha Walker and dismembering her body in the Chhatarpur area of South Delhi, in May of this year. The police had started investigating on the basis of a missing complaint filed by Walker’s father on Saturday, and arrested Aftab. According to the news agency ANI, since Aftab’s statements contain several discrepancies, a mental and psycho-assessment test is to be arranged to examine his mental state.

“The test will let us know if Aftab is telling the truth. It will also help us understand his mental state and the nature of the brutal crime he has committed. We also want to know what his relationship with Shraddha was,” said a senior police officer.

According to the police, if it is determined that Aftab is mentally unfit, he will be subjected to appropriate measures. It is expected that the test will be conducted after the initial investigation has been completed. 

Delhi Police had also asked Aftab Poonawala for a narco test. According to a senior police officer, they have requested permission from the court to conduct the test but have not been able to secure it yet. The narco test should be carried out, according to the investigators, to verify the accuracy of various assertions made by the accused, as he has been changing his statements and refusing to cooperate. For the DNA analysis of the 13 body parts that have been found so far, the victim’s father’s blood samples have been taken.

As part of the narco test, the subject is given an intravenous dose of a substance (such as sodium pentothal, scopolamine, or sodium amytal) that induces various degrees of anaesthesia to the test subject. The individual is less likely to be restrained and more open during the hypnotic stage when information that would ordinarily not be revealed is more likely to be divulged. As per standard procedure, a narco test can only be carried out with the accused’s permission.

The Case So Far

A search for Shraddha Walker’s body parts was conducted in the Chhatarpur jungle on November 15 by the police, the accused, and the victim’s father. The search lasted for about three hours, and among the remains discovered by the police are 10 samples suspected to be human. They have been sent for further forensic examination.

Moreover, Walker’s friends were also questioned about the relationship between her and her live-in partner. Her friends revealed that she wanted to leave Aftab as he had made her life miserable. One of the couple’s friends shared that they were initially happy together, however, Aftab reportedly began beating her. ANI quoted her as saying, “I was shaken to the core of my soul that my friend has been murdered. She told us in 2019 that she has been in a relationship since 2018.” As per her friends’ accounts, Walker said that she wanted to leave her partner but was unable to do so. According to News18, Walker’s father suspected that his daughter had been missing since September, after one of the couple’s common friends reported that he had not heard from her for a few months.

Delhi Police has discovered that Aftab disposed of the body parts without any cover to avoid suspicion after wrapping them in black foil. To get rid of soiled clothes, he had used the Google search engine to know how to remove blood stains with chemicals. Reportedly, he had begun watching crime films and television shows before killing her, which included Dexter, one of the most well-known American crime drama series.

It was Walker’s father who reported his daughter missing that brought the matter to light. Her friends had not been in contact with her for at least the past two and a half months, and her mobile number had also been disconnected. According to Walker’s family, her social media accounts had not been updated during that time. 

The police also discovered that Rs 54,000 was moved from Walker’s bank account to Aftab’s after May 22. They are also looking through their social media interactions. Walker insisted that Aftab remove all of their possessions from the Mumbai home, but it appears that the pair lacked the money to return to Mumbai. According to a police official, this exacerbated tensions between them.

Investigators claimed to have discovered some bones and a bag that they believe belonged to Walker as proof. Police have informed that the victim’s head, phone, and murder weapon are yet to be found, and that they are currently looking into the possibility that Aftab may have previously attempted to kill the victim. As part of the crime scene reconstruction to ascertain and establish how he carried out the killing, the accused, according to the police, was brought to the apartment where the couple resided. When the Manikpur police in Maharashtra had summoned Aftab for questioning earlier this month, according to Mumbai police authorities, he appeared assured and showed no signs of regret on his face.

Aftab Poonawala was produced before the court on Thursday for a hearing, during which the police asked for more time in custody for a thorough interrogation. The court has granted custody of five days to the police.


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