The family of Aftab Ameen Poonawala, accused of murdering his live-in partner Shraddha Walkar, left their home near Mumbai about a fortnight ago. Aftab was home to help the family move, neighbours said.
The 28-year-old allegedly murdered his live-in partner at their Delhi home after a fight over her wish to marry him. He then chopped off her body into 35 pieces and disposed them off over 18 days. He was arrested Saturday, and police said he had admitted to the grisly murder.
The neighbours of Aftab's family said he appeared "quite normal" during his recent visit home. They also said they knew Shraddha who had visited his home several times.
"Aftab's family has been staying in this society for nearly 20 years. He grew up here," said the housing society chairman Ramdas Kewat, adding, "We are in deep shock."
Aftab's father works in Mumbai. The neighbours say that when they asked him why they were vacating the house, his father said they were moving to Mumbai.
"Aftab's younger brother recently got a job in Mumbai. When I asked his father why they were moving, they said since both he and his younger son work in Mumbai, it made sense to shift to the city," said the society's secretary Abdulla Khan.
Shraddha, 26, and Aftab connected over dating app Bumble. They later started working together at a call centre. When Shraddha's family objected to the relationship, they moved to Delhi and started living in Mehrauli.
"The duo fell in love while working in Mumbai and came to Delhi by April-end or May first week after facing opposition from their families. While they were living in the national capital, they had an argument in mid-May over marriage, which escalated, and he strangled her," Ankit Chauhan, Additional DCP-I, South district, said.