Shraddha Walkar, 27, was allegedly strangled by her boyfriend in May following an argument over marriage after the couple moved to Delhi from Mumbai together
An Indian food blogger in Delhi strangled his girlfriend to death and cut her into pieces which he wrapped in plastic and kept in the fridge before feeding them to stray dogs, in a parody of TV show Dexter.
Police arrested Aftab Poonawala (28) on Saturday for killing Shraddha Walkar (27). He is accused of strangling her after an argument about marriage on May 18.
Poonawala told police he was inspired by Dexter, a TV show about a vigilante serial killer who wraps his victims’ bodies in plastic after murdering them.
“He followed what the protagonist did to chop the body and throw it,” said a source quoted in The Indian Express.
After he hacked her into 35 small parts, he kept the pieces in small black poly bags in a refrigerator that he bought after the murder for almost three weeks, duplicating the character.
The smell of the carcass in Chattarpur Pahadi, where the couple lived, was masked by air fresheners, agarbattis and incense sticks, which Poonawala bought to try to hide the stench of the rotting corpse.
On several trips, he waited until 2 a.m. to dispose of her body, slowly scattering the dismembered body parts in the Mehrauli jungles of south Delhi.
Poonawala, who was trained as a chef, found many ways to dispose of the body parts, including feeding some pieces to stray dogs.
“We’ve been told he removed the intestines first so they could break down easily,” the source said.
The killer started communicating with Walkar’s friends through her Instagram account, making them believe she was still alive, according to The Times of India.
He then threw her phone and threw her clothes into a garbage truck later, Googling how to clean blood stains from the floor.
The two had met on a dating app three years before. Poonawala was back on the dating apps while parts of her body were still in the fridge.
Aftab Ameen Poonawalla (left) and Shraddha (right) are pictured together. The food blogger, inspired by the serial killer on the Dexter TV series, allegedly strangled his girlfriend before hacking her body into 35 pieces and storing them in his fridge
After hacking her into small pieces, the killer kept the pieces in black poly bags in the fridge for almost three weeks. He fed some to stray dogs and apparently scattered the rest in the jungle
Dexter features a vigilante serial killer who wraps the bodies of his victims in plastic after murdering them. A scene from the TV show is shown
But at that point, Walkar’s family asked for her. Friends said she hadn’t responded to their messages in weeks and they considered going to the police.
“She hasn’t responded to any of my texts since August,” said her friend Laxman Nadir in conversation with ANI. “Her phone was switched off. After asking about her with other friends, I informed her brother.’
Poonawala and Walkar had met three years earlier, and became romantically engaged before moving from Mumbai to Delhi.
She was a BMM student at Viva Institute of Technology, but dropped out to work as a sales manager in a sports store, before meeting Poonawala – who had a bachelor’s degree in management studies from Santacruz college.
Their parents did not approve of their relationship. Her father accused Poonawala of domestic abuse, alleging that his “daughter would call her mother and say that Aftab had beaten her up”.
Walkar had lost her mother in 2020, and moved back in with her family to mourn with her father and brother for two weeks before returning home.
But after they moved back in together, Walkar started putting pressure on Poonawala to marry her, according to a police official.
He had originally promised to marry her, but later backed out, leading to the confrontation.
Recent footage showed Poonawalla walking out of the police station into the Mehrauli jungle with cloth wrapped around his face in a desperate attempt to avoid being photographed
“The two often argued and it used to get out of control. On May 18, the man lost his temper and strangled her, the official said while talking to ANI.
Walkar’s father drove to see his daughter but noticed the apartment was locked when he arrived at the apartment in May.
When he did not find his daughter, he filed a missing report in Mumbai.
Police traced her location to Delhi, transferred the case to the Indian capital’s police force, and finally arrested him on Saturday.
Poonawala confessed to the murder. Indian local news followed the man as police took him into the Mehrauli jungle to pinpoint the spot where he had scattered the body parts.
They will take him back to their home to recreate the crime scene.
Police also recovered some body parts from Poonawala’s rented flat, BBC Hindi reported.
Neither the murder weapon nor the body have yet been fully recovered. The father has demanded the death sentence for the murderer.