Delhi murder: Poonawala took cues from TV shows, kept Walkar to herself | Latest News Delhi
Aaftab Amin Poonwala and Shraddha Walkar met on a dating app in 2019. They moved in together in Mumbai within a few months, went on a trip to Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand earlier this year, and then moved to Delhi. However, both sets of parents rejected the interfaith relationship. Yet there was no indication that the relationship would end in one of the most glaring murders Delhi has seen.
Aaftab Amin Poonawala
Nothing on Aaftab Amin Poonawala’s profile on social media platforms seems to indicate that he might one day be locked up in a Delhi police station, arrested for allegedly murdering his girlfriend and chopping her body into at least 35 pieces.
Poonawala’s Facebook profile shows that he has an interest in bodybuilding, followed football clubs Arsenal and Chelsea, enjoyed TV shows such as House of Cards and Bigg Boss, and played video games such as Fast and Furious and Injustice.
Delhi police said on Monday that the man told them during questioning that he had taken tips from TV shows, particularly Dexter, on ways to dispose of a human body. “He is very fluent in English and appears to be calm even in custody. He said he had taken a course in hotel management and interned in a top luxury hotel’s kitchen in Mumbai. He also says he is a freelance photographer and food blogger, said a police officer who asked not to be named.
Poonawala’s public posts on Facebook include one in support of acid attack victims and a Change.org petition seeking signatures to save trees in Mumbai’s Aarey forest from being cut down for the Metro car shed.
Poonawala, who studied at St Francis High School in Vasai and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in management studies from LS Raheja College in Mumbai, ran a food blogging company called Hungry Chokro Escapades, with accounts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. The posts were about places to eat and food. They started with his hometown in Vasai but soon moved to Mumbai.
“He told us that he is a trained chef, but he did not work as one in Delhi. He worked at a call center in Gurugram and earned around ₹52,000 per month, the police officer said.
On Monday afternoon, people found his Instagram page and started posting hate messages over the alleged brutal crime. The man’s Instagram account shows that he last updated on February 2, from Vasai, Maharashtra, about a month or two before he left Maharashtra with his girlfriend, Shraddha, whom he allegedly murdered on May 18.
Shraddha Walkar seems to have been a very private person, with not much of an online footprint. Her last Facebook post was from the Garden Cafe in Baijnath, Himachal Pradesh, where she uploaded a picture of herself reading a book. Delhi police have said that the woman, who lived with her mother until 2019, moved out of the house and started living with Poonawala. The two met on Bumble, an online dating app, according to Delhi Police. Her father told the police that she left home sometime in 2019 when they objected to her relationship with Poonawala due to their different faiths.
“Her mother died in January 2020. Previously she lived with her mother. Her father lived in another house. The murder could not have gone unnoticed all these months if she was in regular contact with the family. She had stopped communicating with her father for almost a year. For almost four months, no one suspected anything was wrong, until one of her brother’s friends realized that she was not available on the phone for months and informed her father, another police officer said.