A 28-year-old man who allegedly killed his live-in partner in Delhi kept parts of her body in a refrigerator he bought for the purpose, and then scattered those, one by one, across the city’s Mehrauli forest, police sources today said. To counter the stench in the apartment, he would light agarbatti or incense sticks, it’s alleged.
He was “inspired” by American crime show ‘Dexter’, the investigators said.
Aftab Ameen Poonawala — arrested on Saturday after his 26-year-old girlfriend Shraddha Walkar’s father came to Delhi from Maharashtra’s Palghar and went to the cops — had allegedly strangled her to death five months ago, on May 18, after an argument as she’d been insisting they get married, police sources said.
He chopped the body into 35 pieces and bought a 300-litre fridge to keep those, it is alleged.
Over the next 18 days, he allegedly disposed of the pieces in Mehrauli forest, stepping out late at night, usually after 2 am.
The case has elements from fictional stories in the show ‘Dexter’, in which the protagonist is a forensics expert who leads a parallel life as a vigilante serial killer. Aftab was adept at using a meat knife as he was trained as chef, police said.
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The couple had met while working together in Mumbai, and moved to Delhi early this year after the woman’s family did not approve of their inter-faith (Hindu-Muslim) relationship. In Delhi, they worked in a call centre for a multinational company and lived in a rented apartment in Chhatarpur.
“They had an argument in mid-May over marriage, which escalated and he strangled her,” Ankit Chauhan, police in-charge of Delhi South, said.
The woman’s father came to Delhi to look for her after a friend of hers told him her phone was switched off for several weeks now. The parents and the woman had not spoken to each other over the past few months due to their disagreement over her live-in relationship, he told the police.
Police have filed a case of murder and got five-day custody of the man. Some body parts were recovered from the forest but it is not known if they are human remains, officials said. The knife used by the accused has not been found yet.