Aaftab Amin Poonawala, the man who is accused of chopping his live-in partner's body into pieces in Delhi told the police that he was inspired by the American crime TV series, 'Dexter'.
Poonawala was arrested for murdering Shraddha Walkar. He had allegedly cut her body into 35 pieces and kept them in a fridge for nearly 20 days before dumping them across Delhi.
Dexter is a popular crime drama about a serial killer by the same name. In the series, Dexter killed most of his victims by strangulation before dismembering and dumping the parts.
Poonawala and the 29-year-old Walkar lived on the first floor of a building at Gully Number 1 in the Chhatarpur Pahadi area.
Poonawala, a trained chef, evaded detection for six months and continued to live in the house they shared and was only arrested early Saturday after details of the killing and its grisly aftermath came to light during interrogation.
In order to avoid suspicion, he read about human anatomy in order to learn how to chop a body, and did Google search on cleaning blood stains, said an official privy to investigation.
It is understood that there was barely any furniture in the house and the new 300-litre refrigerator the accused purchased to hide the body was in the drawing room.
Aftab bought the refrigerator the day after the murder and stored the body pieces in it. To counter the stench, he lit incense sticks at his home.
He had thrown the body pieces at various locations over a period of 18 days. To avoid suspicion, he used to leave his house with a body part in a polybag at around 2 am.
Aftab was taken to the Mehrauli forest area by the police on Monday to collect the body parts which he had disposed of there.
Meanwhile, neighbours in the Mehrauli locality where the crime took place said they had never seen the victim but had spotted Poonawala stepping out to collect food.
Though the South Delhi neighbourhood has houses nearby, most people said they did not see or hear anything unusual.
Family complains of domestic abuse
Meanwhile, Shraddha's family claimed that she had told her mother on occasions that Aftab used to beat her up.
According to the FIR, the family members of the victim opposed her relationship with Aftab, to which she said that she was over 25 years of age and had the right to make her own decisions.
"Later, she left the house and started living with Aftab. Sometimes, she used to tell her mother that Aftab beat her up. Around 15 to 20 days after her mother's death in 2020, she had called her father and informed the same," the FIR stated.
"They had met me and when I asked her to leave Aftab and return home, Aftab apologised to her and she left with him again. She did not listen to my request due to which I stopped talking to her for several months," the FIR quoted Shaddha's father as saying.
(With PTI, IANS inputs)