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Aaftab, the Killer Butcher

A gruesome murder and mutilation case in New Delhi has stunned the Indian society. On May 18, 2022, a Muslim man named Aaftab Ameen Poonawalla mercilessly slaughtered and mutilated a 26-year-old Dalit Hindu woman named Shraddha Walkar. Six months after the crime, on November 14, 2022, officials detained and eventually arrested Aaftab following his confession to the heinous murder and dismemberment of Shraddha.


Both call centre workers Shraddha and Aaftab are from Vasai in Maharashtra\’s Palghar district. In 2019, they found one another on the dating app \”Bumble.\” and not long after they began dating.

Shraddha relocated to live with Aaftab out of love. After the couple moved to Delhi in 2022, Shraddha asked Aaftab to fulfil one of his many vows to marry her. In the recently acquired flat of Chhatarpur neighbourhood in New Delhi, on May 18, 2022, Aaftab strangled Shraddha after they argued about their impending marriage. Later that day, Aaftab dismemberment Shraddha’s body into 35 pieces, and stored the pieces in a refrigerator that had been purchased the very same day especially for the purpose.

When questioned by Delhi police, Aaftab acknowledged that he watched a number of international crime dramas, notably the American crime drama \”Dexter,\” before murdering Shraddha. He further revealed that working as a chef at a five-star hotel in Delhi had provided him the skill to dismember Shraddha. Prior to dissecting Shraddha\’s body, he claimed to have read extensively on human anatomy and to have done some online research on how to remove blood stains from the crime scene. 

Since Shraddha\’s violent murder in May, Aaftab, up until June, was active on Shraddha\’s Instagram account till june and made purchases and payments using her credit card to maintain the appearance that she was still alive. While Shraddha\’s severed body parts were still in the refrigerator, kitchen, and cupboards. Aaftab routinely invited new women that he met on the same dating app into the same apartment.  He tried to mask the stench of Shraddha\’s remains with potpourri, air fresheners, and incense sticks.

Shraddha is said to have cut off contact with her parents since they disapproved of her relationship with Aaftab. Friends of Shraddha would occasionally let her parents know where she was. However, when Shraddha\’s father Vikas Madan Walker was unable to contact her for an extended period of time or learn of her whereabouts, he made a police report at Manikpur Police Station in Vasai West, Mumbai; the case was then transferred to Mehrauli Police Station in New Delhi.

A senior police officer from the Mehrauli Police Station who questioned Aaftab indicated that when they questioned Aaftab, they were not convinced by his explanation of Shraddha\’s disappearance. After detailed questioning, he confessed to the murder and indicated that he had chopped her body into 35 pieces. A case has been filed at the Mehrauli police station under IPC sections 201 (causing the removal of evidence of an offence committed) and 302 (murder) in connection with Aaftab\’s arrest.

In grief and anger, Lakshman Nadar, a friend of Shraddha, stated, \”Once she (Shraddha) contacted me on WhatsApp and asked to rescue her from her residence. She said that if she stayed with him (Aaftab) that night, he would kill her.” Similarly, another Friend, Rajat Shukla suggested that Shraddha and Aaftab initially coexisted well, but then Aaftab began abusing her. She wanted to leave, he claimed, but was unable to.  As of November 15, 2022, Delhi Police was looking into the case, and Aaftab has been escorting them to the sites where he dumped Shraddha\’s body\’s fragments. The remains of 12 samples that were initially believed to be human remains have been forwarded for forensic analysis by Delhi Police.

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