Delhi’s most notorious murder in recent times — that of Shraddha Walkar by her boyfriend Aaftab Poonawala — has presented the police with a perplexing problem. Though the accused confessed to the murder and disposal of the body, it will not count as evidence.
Poonawalla’s initial confession was not made before a magistrate, which is needed to make it acceptable as evidence. While he repeated the statement in court today, that won’t count either, as it was a remand hearing and not the actual trial.
There are no primary witnesses and all the police have at this point is circumstantial evidence of a murder committed six months ago. The police are relying on forensic science to build a watertight case, where every step has to be independently corroborated.
Aaftab Poonawalla has told the police that he killed Shraddha Walker on May 18.
But in absence of a body, the police now have to establish that Sharaddha was not alive post May 18. They are reaching out to her close friends and acquaintances to see if she contacted them after May 18.
Next, the human remains recovered with Poonawalla’s statement, have to be established as Sharaddha’s. The police are trying for a DNA match with her father and brother. The report from Central Forensic Science Laboratory is expected within a week.
There is no murder weapon, since Poonawalla claimed he had strangled the 26-year-old. The police have recovered the tools he used for dismembering the body, but after six months, there is little hope of extracting forensic evidence from them.
Today, the police focussed on the bathroom where the body was apparently chopped into 35 pieces. After breaking the tiles, they found evidence of blood, which has also been sent for DNA test, sources said.
Though the police plan to hold a polygraph or narco-analysis test on Poonawalla, the reports would not be admissible in court either. The preliminary processes for the lie-detector test were conducted today.
The motive of the murder is also a problem, since Poonawala has claimed that it was not premeditated and he strangled her in a fit of rage during an altercation.
The police are working on finding digital evidence and statements of her friends that would establish that the woman was routinely beaten and tortured.
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