A 28-year-old man allegedly strangled his live-in partner, chopped her body into nearly 35 pieces, kept them in a fridge for almost three weeks and then dumped them across the city over several days, police said on Monday.
Details of the killing and its grisly aftermath came to light almost six months later with the arrest of Aftab Ameen Poonawala, officials said. Some chopped body parts of the woman have been found and police are looking for the murder weapon, they said.
The officials said the accused bought a 300-litre fridge to keep the severed body parts and used incense sticks and room freshners to suppress the foul smell emanating from the corpse.
Poonawala and Shraddha Walkar fell in love while they were working at a call centre in Mumbai. But their families objected to the relationship as they were from different faiths, prompting the couple to move to South Delhi’s Mehrauli earlier this year, a senior police official said.
“Around mid-May, the couple had an argument over marriage, which escalated and Poonawala killed her,” Ankit Chauhan, Additional DCP-I, South district, said.
“The accused then cut her body into over 35 pieces. He bought a 300 litre fridge to preserve the body parts and stocked up on incense sticks and room freshners. He disposed the pieces in different parts of the city over several days. He used to step out past midnight to dump the severed body parts,” he added.
Chauhan said the woman was not in proper talking terms with her family due to their differences over her relationship with Poonawala.
According to a complaint filed by the victim’s father in Mumbai, one of her friends informed them in September that the woman’s phone had been unreachable for two months. The complaint alleged that Poonawala used to beat up Walkar on occasions and that she had informed her family about it earlier.
“The woman’s father called the accused up but was told that the couple had parted ways sometime back. Unable to contact his daughter, the man then filed a missing complaint,” Chauhan said.
Poonawala has been remanded to a five-day custody and further investigation is underway, the police said.
Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) chief Swati Maliwal has called for stringent punishment to the accused.
“In a heart wrenching incident in Delhi, a woman was killed by her boyfriend, who cut her body into 35 pieces and kept them in a fridge. He dumped the body parts in various parts of the city. What kind of cruel people are there in the society. Police have arrested the accused and the cruel man should be given strict punishment,” she said in a tweet in Hindi.
(With PTI inputs)
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