Aaftab evasive during polygraph test: forensic experts

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Aaftab Poonawala, who is accused of murdering his girlfriend Shraddha Walkar in May and chopping her body into at least 35 pieces, remained largely evasive while answering questions posed by interrogators on during his polygraph test on Thursday, forensic experts aware of the matter said on Friday.

Poonawala, 28, allegedly murdered Walkar, 27, at their Chhattarpur Pahadi flat on May 18, and was arrested on November 12. He was taken to Delhi’s forensic science laboratory (FSL) in Rohini on Thursday evening for a polygraph test.

An FSL official, on condition of anonymity, said, “Poonawala remained confident and his body language was normal during the session. He appeared to be an intelligent person with a sharp brain. He answered the normal and irrelevant questions. But he remained elusive or silent when critical questions related to the murder case were asked. It seemed he was very much aware of the polygraph test procedure.”

FSL assistant director Sanjeev Kumar Gupta, who heads the crime scene management and photo division, said police officers brought Poonawala to the laboratory at around 4 pm, and he underwent the polygraph session that lasted around two and a half hours. At around 7 pm, the panel of psychologists concluded the test and allowed Poonawala to leave.

“The experts will now analyse the data and see if they have got the desired results. In case they find that certain data could not be analysed and created doubts, the experts may call Poonawala again. The experts will give a nod for the narco-analysis test after they are satisfied with the polygraph test results,” said Gupta, adding that the FSL will remain open on Saturday and Sunday to conduct the narco test.

Meanwhile, police teams investigating Walkar’s murder have recorded the statements of over a dozen people, including friends and family members of the couple, to understand the couple’s relationship and establish the sequence of events leading to her murder.

Among these people is a key witness who goes by the name Badri. According to police, the couple met Badri in Himachal Pradesh, accompanied them to Delhi’s Chhattarpur Pahadi where he lived in a rented flat, and helped them get an accommodation in rent in the neighbourhood.

Badri was also taken into custody for questioning by the Mehrauli police station team, said his former landlord, Shekhar Panchadhaye (61).

According to Panchadhaye, Badri had vacated the flat sometime in May, and police are now trying to establish if Badri was aware of Walkar’s murder and he left his flat for that reason. Investigators are also trying to find out whether Badri and Poonawala were in contact after Walkar’s murder on May 18 and before Poonawala’s arrest on November 12, the officers said.


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