Mehrauli murder: Aaftab Poonawala undergoes polygraph test for nearly 8 hours

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Aaftab Poonawala being brought to his residence at Chhatarpur as part of the ongoing investigation, in New Delhi, Sunday, Nov. 20, 2022. Photo: PTI.

New Delhi: Delhi Police has seized five knives from the flat of Mehrauli murder accused Aaftab Amin Poonawala, who underwent a marathon polygraph test of nearly eight hours on Thursday at the Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) here, officials said.

However, police said the saw allegedly used by Poonawala to cut his live-in partner Shraddha Walkar's body is yet to be recovered.

The incident also took a political turn with Union Home Minister Amit Shah assuring strict punishment to the accused in the minimal possible time while the CPI-M alleged that the murder and dismemberment of Walkar by her Muslim boyfriend was being used for communal propaganda.

According to the sources in the police department, the recovered knives were sent to FSL for examination to ascertain if these were used in the commission of the crime.

If these knives were used during the commission of the crime, will be ascertained only after the forensic examination which takes time, said a source.

The second session of the polygraph test of Poonawala which started around 12 pm at the FSL Rohini went on for nearly eight hours. He was asked about 40 questions.

Sources said Poonawala cooperated during his examination but some of the recordings were not clear as he was sneezing. The test could not be conducted on Wednesday as Poonawala was down with a fever and cold.

During the session, Poonawala was asked for details about the case, what triggered him to kill Walkar, if it was a planned event or if he did it in a fit of rage as he claimed in the court. All the sequence of events that transpired ever since they started dating and how he decided to dispose of the body in such a gruesome manner. He was also asked about the kind of weapon he used to chop her body into multiple parts along with various other questions related to the case that could give lead to further investigation, an FSL source said.

The accused had undergone the first session of the polygraph test, also known as the lie detector test, on Tuesday.

FSL, Rohini Director Deepa Verma said the accused might be called again on Friday.

Meanwhile, a team of Delhi Police conducted a search in Bhayander creek near Mumbai for a mobile phone, an official said.

The search was conducted with the help of personnel of the Mira-Bhayandar-Vasai-Virar Police, he said.

The police team from the national capital is camping in the Vasai area near Mumbai, from which Walkar and her live-in partner Poonawala hailed, for a week.

The investigators also recorded statements of Walkar and Poonawala's friends, relatives and owners of the flats they had rented, among others.

One of her college friends Rajat Shukla said while speaking to news channel ABP News that Poonawala used to give Walkar cigarette burns but she desisted from approaching police as she wanted to give him another chance.

After getting into a relationship with Poonawala, Walkar distanced herself from her family and all her friends, he said.

In 2021, Shraddha shared with one of her close woman friends that Aaftab burnt her with a cigarette on her back, and we felt bad after hearing about this, he said.

Her friends then visited Poonawala and threatened to file a police complaint if he continued to ill-treat her, he added.

Speaking at an event here, Union minister Shah said he has his eyes on the entire case.

I just want to tell the people of the country that whosoever has done this, through law and through courts, Delhi Police and prosecution will ensure strict punishment in the minimum time, he said.

Amit Shah. Photo: Atul Yadav/PTI

He said there is no lack of coordination between Delhi and Mumbai police.

But the letter that has come to the fore, Delhi Police has no role in it. In a police station in Maharashtra, Shraddha had given a letter that her body will be cut into pieces and about receiving death threats... No action was taken on it there...There will be a probe on it there. At that time we did not have our government... Whosever is responsible, strict action will be taken, the home minister said.

Murder being used for communal propaganda: CPM

The CPI-M, however, alleged that the murder and dismemberment of Walkar by her Muslim boyfriend is being used for communal propaganda while similar cases where both the perpetrators and the victims were Hindus, BJP leaders have maintained silence.

Sources at the Ambedkar hospital said Poonawala's medical test will be performed after the completion of the polygraph test and the results are expected in two days. Narco analysis of the accused test can only be conducted after getting his medical report.

Poonawala allegedly strangled Walkar (27) and sawed her body into 35 pieces, which he kept in a 300-litre fridge for almost three weeks at his residence in south Delhi's Mehrauli before dumping those across the city over several days past midnight.

Walkar was allegedly killed in May.

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