×

India

Shraddha Murder Case: Aftab To Be Produced Before Court Through Video Conferencing

Aftab was arrested on Saturday after Delhi police started probing into a missing complaint filed by Shraddha's father Vikas Walker. He had attempted to dupe the police of Delhi and Mumbai in the initial days of the investigation.

Shraddha Walkar. (Image :ANI)
Shraddha Walkar. (Image : ANI)

New Delhi: A Delhi Court on Thursday allowed an application submitted by the Delhi Police for the appearance of Aftab Amin Poonawala, who is accused of strangling his live-in partner Shraddha Walker to death and chopping her body into 35 pieces, through video conferencing due to the security and sensitivity of the case.

Metropolitan Magistrate Aviral Shukla allowed the application after considering the facts submitted by the police. “As per the information, some religious and miscreants may attack the accused. Under these circumstances, it would not be appropriate to produce the accused in the courtroom,” Delhi Police submitted.

After considering the application, the judge said, “I am aware of the public sentiment attached to the case. I am also aware of the media coverage and sensitivity of the matter.In the interest of justice, the application for appearance through video conferencing is allowed.

“While the court was hearing the application, lawyers were protesting outside the courtroom and raising slogans against Aftab. They were raising the slogan “Shraddha ke hatyare ko fansi do, fansi do” (Hang the murderer of Shraddha).The court, thereafter, said that the application for seeking an extension of police custody will be taken up through VC.

Aftab was arrested on Saturday after Delhi police started probing into a missing complaint filed by Shraddha’s father Vikas Walker. He had attempted to dupe the police of Delhi and Mumbai in the initial days of the investigation. Making a huge claim in the Shraddha Walker murder case, Delhi Police sources on Thursday said that the accused Aftab Poonawalla had charred his live-in partner’s face to hide her identity.

The Delhi Police sources claimed that he had first chopped her body into 35 pieces, then burnt her face in such a way that it becomes unidentifiable even if the body parts are discovered. “During the interrogation, Aftab revealed that he had learnt about all this on the internet, and also about how to hide the body from everyone’s reach,” the sources claimed.

In yet another loop in the Shraddha Walker murder case, the Southern District Police of Delhi has contacted their eastern counterparts in a bid to match the DNA sample of chopped body parts including a human head which the latter had recovered earlier in June. According to the sources, the East Delhi Police had found a chopped head and hand in the Trilokpuri area of Pandav Nagar police station area of the national capital in June this year, which was nearly a month after Shraddha was murdered (on May 18).

In the East Delhi case, the police were not able to ascertain whose body parts they were because of the tampered state of the recovered body parts. The body parts found in East Delhi were sent for a DNA test, and the forensic report will be coming soon. The bones found in Mehrauli forests have also been sent for a DNA test. The police will match the DNA report of all the pieces found at both these places and will try to ascertain if the found body parts were of Shraddha, the sources said.

The Southern District Police has contacted the Eastern District Police in this regard. The East District Police has handed over all the information to the South District Police. Meanwhile, the Delhi Police has come across a fresh lead in the investigation of the Shraddha Walker murder case, in which they have found a pending water bill in accused Aftab Poonawalla’s flat, given the circumstances that 20,000 litres of water in Delhi is provided free by the government, according to the sources.

According to the sources, the police received information from the neighbours of Aftab that he has an outstanding water bill of Rs 300. It has also been revealed that the accused used to order food online after committing the crime. According to the bill found at home, he ordered two burgers worth Rs.650. Also, he used not to go outside even for tea. Earlier, Aftab had told police that before the murder there was a fight between the couple over the shifting of household items from Mumbai.

Police investigation revealed that the couple had a fight on May 18 during which Aftab killed Shraddha. Delhi Police sources said the May 18 quarrel was not the first time, Aftab and Shraddha were fighting for three years.

“On May 18, there was a fight between the two regarding bringing household items from Mumbai. They used to fight over who would bear the household expenses and bring items. Aftab got very angry about this. The quarrel started around 8 pm on May 18 when Aftab strangled Shraddha to death. He kept her body in the room overnight and went to buy a knife and refrigerator the next day,” sources told.

Aftab was arrested on Saturday after Delhi police started probing into a missing complaint filed by Shraddha’s father Vikas Walker. Aftab had attempted to dupe the police of Delhi and Mumbai in the initial days of the investigation. Aftab had tried to hide the murder of Shraddha by removing any physical evidence, however, he had left the digital evidence that the police traced to reach the truth of the case.

When Delhi Police initiated the investigation, Aftab had told the police that Shraddha had left the house on May 22 (Shraddha was killed on May 18), after a fight. He claimed that she had only carried her phone with herself and had left her belongings in his flat. He claimed that she was unreachable and he had not come in contact with her since then, according to the police sources.

However, the truth came to the fore when the police checked the phone call records of the couple and investigated their locations. The biggest breakthrough the police got was the bank statement of the couple’s account which showed a transaction of Rs 54,000 from Shraddha’s net banking account app to Aftab’s account on May 26. The transaction exposed Aftab’s lies in which he had earlier claimed that Shraddha was unreachable after May 22 and he did not come in contact with her, the sources said.

The location of the bank transfer that took place on May 26 also turned out to be the Mehrauli police station area. Besides this, on May 31 there was a chat with her friend from Shraddha’s Instagram account. When the police found out the location of Shraddha’s phone, it turned out to be in Delhi’s Mehrauli police station area.

Aftab could not answer the police question that if Shraddha had carried her phone along with herself, why was its location being traced to his house? It was at this moment that Aftab revealed the truth.

Also Read: Shraddha Murder Case: BJP MLA Rajeshwar Singh Writes To CM Yogi To Bring Legislative Amendments

The Maharashtra Police sources said that when Shraddha’s family could not contact her due to her phone being switched off, they filed the missing complaint at the Manikpur police station. Following the complaint, Aftab was summoned to the Manikpur police station for questioning. Meanwhile, Shraddha’s father on Tuesday demanded the death penalty for the accused while also suspecting ‘love jihad’ behind the incident.