Shraddha murder case: Chess keeps Aaftab engaged in Tihar jail, say police

Chess keeps viscious Aaftab engaged in Tihar Jail, says police, can expect new twist


Published: Fri 2 Dec 2022, 6:24 PM

Last updated: Thu 12 Jan 2023, 4:17 PM

Aaftab Amin Poonawalla, accused of the gruesome murder of his live-in partner Shraddha Walkar and currently lodged in Tihar Jail, spends time by plotting chess moves, often solitary and occasionally sparring with two fellow inmates, jail authorities said.

The 28-year-old, who is accused of killing and dismembering Shraddha's body, storing the chopped body parts in a refrigerator before disposing them, is currently in the custody of Delhi Police.

One of the investigators in the case said that Aaftab is very clever and a "new twist" can be expected in the case.

According to sources, Aaftab shares his jail cell with two more inmates who frequently play a game of chess in the cell. Aaftab often keenly observes the games of the two others and whenever he gets a chance he plays both the white and black pieces. He is the single player and he strategises and plays both sides himself, says sources.

"Aaftab is fond of chess and he prepares different strategies and plays the board from both ends," sources said, adding that he is a "good player, in this game of checkmate". The undertrials who share Aaftab's cell have been accused in a theft case and have been asked to keep a close watch on him.

Sources said, "Aaftab does not converse much with them. He just keeps playing chess alone in jail for hours".

The jail sources also informed that Aaftab plans his own moves against himself and that is something the Delhi Police have been suspicious of from the very beginning "Aaftab is very cunning. His every move seems part of a well-planned conspiracy and as if he is playing alone from both ends..."

During the course of the investigation, taking note of his calculated moves, a senior officer of the Delhi Police had even stated, "sometimes it seems that the investigating officer is not us but the accused Aaftab, at whose behest the Delhi Police department is going places, and it is evident in the way the police has become entangled in his story."

"This is the reason why during initial investigation, the police took the help of a psychologist to get to know his mind, and later sought a narco analysis test. It is difficult to believe anything about him", the police sources said.

Earlier, one of the investigators in the case said Aaftab has completely followed police orders. He confessed his crime, co-operated with police, and agreed to the polygraph and narco test. But now the police are becoming suspicious about his "good" behaviour. They suspect it to part of his "devious" scheme.

As per information, the jail authorities have increased the security outside Aaftab Poonawalla's jail quarters, and deployed an additional guard outside his barrack, especially after an attack on a jail van ferrying Shraddha's alleged killer outside the Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) in Delhi's Rohini.

The Tihar Jail Authority has also said that in view of the danger to Aftab inside the jail, "special vigil is being kept around his cell", adding, "Aftab neither talks much to anyone nor does he mingle".

According to jail officials, Aftab eats and sleeps on time as if he has no remorse for his actions."It seems from his actions that the murder of Shraddha Walkar was also a part of a deeper conspiracy like his chess strategies," the jail sources stated.

Aaftab is accused of strangling his live-in partner to death and chopping her body into 35 pieces. He is also alleged to have preserved the chopped body parts in a refrigerator before dumping them in forested areas in Delhi and Gurugram.

Police had earlier said Aaftab, who confessed to killing Shraddha and chopping her body was giving misleading answers to questions.

Delhi Police had submitted in court that Aaftab was giving wrong information and was misleading the investigation.

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