A building resident said they have not seen Aaftab Poonawala (28), arrested by Delhi police for allegedly killing his 27-year-old live-in partner Shraddha Walkar, since the family shifted to the Mira Road society from Vasai. “It is shocking to learn that Aaftab cut up her body into 35 pieces, stored it in a 300-litre fridge for weeks at his residence and then dumped it in Delhi’s Mehrauli jungle over several days,” a resident said.
“The family shifted into a two-bedroom flat on the 11th floor of this building around Diwali, but the flat has been locked since last week,” he told PTI, while showing the locked flat. Soon after they moved in the building, the family members, including Aaftab’s parents and brother, went on a short vacation and returned after the news of his grisly crime broke, he said.
“After this, we saw them (Aaftab’s father Amin and mother Munira) twice while they were keeping the dustbin outside their flat. Amin Bhai, Munira and their (other) son are talkative. We have not seen them since the last one week,” he said. Nobody in the housing society has seen Aaftab, he said. “After this (news about Aaftab), the Poonawala family was in a state of depression. We don’t know where they are now,” he said.
The housing society has four wings: A, B, C and D. While the first three are 21-storey buildings, wing D, where the Poonawala family shifted, has 18 floors and has eight flats on each floor. The building watchman said he was not aware of the Poonawala family as it is a fairly large housing society, and “it is not feasible to monitor” all the people all the time.
The visit by this correspondent to the Poonawalas abode in Mira Road came even as local police maintained that the family has fled to an unknown location and is now untraceable. A team of Delhi Police on Friday recorded the statement of Shraddha Walkar’s close friend in her hometown of Vasai. The four-member team visited Manikpur police station and recorded the statement of Laxman Nadar, Walkar’s friend.
According to Delhi police, Poonawala allegedly strangled Walkar (27), on May 18 and sawed her body into 35 pieces which he kept in a fridge for almost three weeks at his residence in South Delhi’s Mehrauli before dumping them across the city.