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Mehrauli murder case: Plumber first witness to see couple check into Delhi flat | Delhi News

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NEW DELHI: A plumber in Chhatarpur Pahadi said he saw both Shraddha Walkar and her live-in partner Aaftab Poonawala together in the flat they had moved into. Till now, no one had confirmed seeing Walkar alive and living in the flat where she was allegedly murdered. On Thursday, police also identified the garbage van into which Poonawala claimed to have thrown the victim’s and his own blood-stained clothes.
Plumber Rajesh said, “They came to the flat in the summer. The couple was happy and had their hands on each other’s shoulders when I noticed them on the lane.” He said it was the last time he saw the woman.

Rajesh recalled talking to Poonawala on another occasion. He said he had received a call from the owner of the building to look at the water problem the second-floor tenants were having. “I told the family about how to fill a water tank. At this time, Aaftab came and asked me how to turn on the motor pump for his water connection,” said Rajesh. “I did several plumbing jobs at the building after that, but Aaftab never called me for anything.”
When the news of the murder broke a few days ago, the plumber saw Walkar’s photo on TV and in newspapers. He recognized her as the woman he had seen walking on the lane.

Police sources said the cops had identified the garbage van in which Poonawala had thrown his victim’s clothes. The cops also questioned the couple’s landlord and took some documents from him. The investigators are likely to take the accused to Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand, which he had visited with Walkar. They have also discovered that the couple had stayed at a hotel in Paharganj, which has now been identified.
Authorities in other districts have been alerted to check whether any body parts were recovered in their areas between May and July. “It is possible that the suspect threw the woman’s body parts somewhere else. That is why other districts have been asked to check the status of old, unresolved cases where human body remains were found,” a source said.

Unlike the plumber, most residents of the building where the couple lived claimed never to have seen Walkar. One said, “I only saw Aaftab, who used to come down to receive packets from delivery boys.” A shopkeeper also reported only Poonawala visiting his shop a couple of times to buy cigarettes.
Neighbors on the second floor added that they never heard any noise coming from the first floor. “We keep our doors closed due to the monkey menace. I only saw Aaftab go to the terrace on a few occasions,” said one woman.

On Thursday, TOI was at the site and saw some waste lying outside the flat where the alleged murder took place. Prominently visible was an empty portable vacuum cleaner box. The cops suspect Poonawala bought the vacuum cleaner to clear all traces of the grisly act in the flat. There was also an empty bank envelope and some cake boxes lying around. The flat where the building owner lives was found locked.

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