NEW DELHI: 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.
The Delhi Police will present the accused before Saket Court today and seek his further custody.
According to the sources, the police received information from the neighbours of Aftab that he has an outstanding water bill of Rs 300.
The police are likely to investigate this angle as the Delhi government gives 20,000 litres of water for free. Two neighbours living on the floor above Aftab had informed the police that the water bill of all the floors comes to zero, except for Aftab’s, who had an outstanding due of Rs 300, thus rising suspicion.
“After the murder, Aftab used a lot of water to clean the blood stains leading to a high water bill and the pending bill. Neighbours told the Police that Aftab used to regularly go and check the building’s water tank,” the sources said.
The police have also got the information that in the rent agreement which was made, Aftab had put Shraddha’s name first and his own name at the last.
“The flat owner knew that they are not a married couple. They were given the flat through a broker. Aftab used to deposit Rs 9,000 into the account of the owner between 8 and 10 of every month,” the sources said.
The water bill is also likely to play an important role in the investigation. Today, if the court grants further custody to the police, they are likely to investigate this angle as well, according to the sources. 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 ANI.
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 said 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 said 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.
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.
Earlier on Tuesday, the police sources told ANI that Aftab confessed that he had made up his mind to kill Shraddha over a week before the murder (May 18).
“More than a week before the murder (May 18), I had made up my mind to kill Shraddha. Even on that day, Shraddha and I had a fight. I was determined to kill her when she suddenly became emotional and started crying. So I held back for later,” a Delhi Police source quoted Aftab as saying in his confession.
Aftab said his partner had trust issues because of which she would often get angry, leading to frequent quarrels.
“I often had to talk to someone over the phone. However, she would doubt my commitment to the relationship every time she caught me speaking over the phone. She used to get very angry,” Aftab told Delhi Police.
“I was scared as I knew that if I dumped the body somewhere, I might be caught. I browsed shopping mode Google all night to search for ways to dispose of the body and not arouse any suspicion. I also searched the internet on what kind of chopper would I have to use to piece the body,” the Delhi Police source quoted Aftab as saying.
Aftab also confessed to his fondness for watching web series and shows related to crime and it was from these shows that he borrowed ideas on preserving the chopped-off body parts and disposing of them later, police said, adding that he did it all by himself.
“I am fond of watching web series and serials on crime and it was while watching these shows that I came up with ideas on preserving the body parts and keeping Shraddha alive in the eyes of her family and friends. It was to preempt any doubts or suspicions about her whereabouts that I kept posting on Shradhha’s Instagram profile after the murder. I did it all by myself,” the accused told Delhi Police.
Sources said the accused first disposed of her liver and intestines after mincing them. Since he was a trained chef, he knew how to use the knife on her flesh. The liver and intestines were disposed of in the nearby forest area of Chattarpur and Mehrauli, sources said.
As the investigators dig deeper into the Shraddha Walker murder case, Delhi Police have found blood stains in the kitchen of accused Aftab Amin Poonawalla’s flat in Delhi’s Chhatarpur. The blood samples have been sent for examination to ascertain whose blood it is.
According to top sources of Delhi Police, the DNA sample of Shraddha’s father has been collected. About 10-13 bones have been recovered from the forest. They have been sent to the forensic lab to find out whether the bones belonged to Shraddha or those of an animal.
Delhi Police has been conducting CCTV mapping of the Chhatarpur area. Since the murder took place six months ago, the police are trying to gather the record of six months. The challenge before the police is most of the CCTV’s capture record of 15 days, in this situation Delhi Police have to scan vast footage.
Meanwhile, Shraddha’s father on Tuesday demanded the death penalty for the accused while also suspecting ‘love jihad’ behind the incident.
Speaking to ANI, Shraddha’s father, Vikas Walker said, “I suspect love jihad. We demand that Aftab be sentenced to death. I have faith in the Delhi Police as the investigation is moving in the right direction. Shraddha was close to her uncle and didn’t talk to me much. I was never in touch with Aftab. I lodged the first complaint in the case at Vasai (Mumbai).”
“I had spoken to Shraddha last in 2021. I would ask her to tell me more about her live-in partner. But she didn’t say much. I did not know she had shifted to Delhi. Her friend told me she was in Delhi. I thought that she was in Bengaluru. Aftab had a lot of time to remove all the evidence,” Shraddha’s father said. (ANI)