New Delhi/Mumbai: The polygraph test on Mehrauli murder accused Aaftab Amin Poonawala could not be conducted on Wednesday since he is down with fever and cold, police said as a 2020 complaint surfaced in which victim Shraddha Walkar alleged her partner tried to kill her and she feared he would cut her into pieces. The delay in completion of the polygraph test also means that the narco test on Poonawala, cannot be conducted on Thursday. A senior official at Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL), Rohini said that investigators informed them that Poonawala is down with a fever and cold and so he could not be brought for the polygraph test. The test will continue only after he gets well, the official added.
While Delhi Police continued to search for vital clues in the grisly murder case, Mumbai police shared a 2020 complaint by Walkar alleging that Poonawala tried to kill her and she feared he would cut her into pieces and throw her away. In the complaint letter dated November 23, 2020, Walkar had also alleged that Poonawala used to beat her up and his parents were aware of it.
Poonawala allegedly strangled Walkar 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 them across the city over several days past midnight. The murder took place in May.
The 28-year-old has to undergo a set of tests to ascertain his emotional, mental, physiological and psychological well-being. The narco analysis cannot be conducted if he is found to be “disturbed” in the preliminary tests.
On Tuesday, Poonawala had undergone the first session of polygraph test, also known as lie detector test, at FSL, Rohini. The investigators and the FSL team designated to conduct the narco test are in constant touch to finalise the schedule for the second session of the polygraph test. Special Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) Sagar Preet Hooda said no polygraph test was conducted on Wednesday.
According to sources, Poonawala was there at FSL for nearly five-six hours on Tuesday. “He was brought to FSL around 3.30 pm on Tuesday and was there till around 9.30 pm. He was asked several questions by the experts who were briefed about the case and the answers they are looking for. The experts also asked him questions they felt could provide more information to police,” said a FSL source. “The test started with experts first asking Poonawala about himself and his family and then shifting to the uncomfortable questions about the murder case. Poonawala will be brought again to FSL since there are some more points on which the police wants clarity,” the source added.
The narco analysis involves administering the individual medication which reduces their self-consciousness and allows them to speak freely. Polygraph test, on the other hand, records physiological phenomena such as blood pressure, pulse rate and respiration, and the data is used to determine whether the person is speaking the truth. The police had no luck with the murder weapon on Wednesday as well and the hunt continued.
According to Mumbai police officials, in her complaint to Tulinj police in Palghar in November 2020, Walkar alleged, “Poonawala has been abusing me and beating me up.” “Today he tied to kill me by suffocating me and he scares and blackmails me that he will kill me cut me up in pieces and throw me anyway. It’s been six months he has been hitting me. But did I not have the guts to go to the police because he would threaten to kill me,” Walkar said in the complaint. “His parents are aware that he beats me and that he tried to kill me,” she told the police.
Walkar also said in the letter that Poonawala’s parents knew about them living together and they visited them on weekends. “I lived with him till date as we were supposed to get married anytime soon and had the blessing of his family. Henceforth, I am not willing to live with him so any kind of physical damage should be considered coming from him as he has been blackmailing me to kill me or hurt me whenever he sees me anywhere,” she stated in the letter.
According to officials, the Delhi Police probe team will also investigate the contents of the old letter shared by the Mumbai counterparts.
Poonawala told a Delhi court on Tuesday that he acted in the “heat of the moment” and that it was not “deliberate”, according to Abinash Kumar, the lawyer representing the accused. Kumar later said after speaking to Poonawala that he “never confessed in the court that he killed Walkar”.