Another chilling Delhi murder: Woman, son kill man, chop body into pieces

Updated on Nov 29, 2022 01:31 AM IST

A woman and her son allegedly murdered a 55-year-old man earlier this summer, chopped his body into 10 pieces, stored them in their refrigerator and, over two days, threw the parts, police said on Monday, in a case with a stark resemblance to the alleged Shraddha Walkar murder that took place around the same time.

A team of NDR of Crime Branch, R.K Puram, arrested a woman and her son for allegedly killing her husband and chopping the body into pieces in her house at Trilokpuri in New Delhi, India, on Monday, November 28, 2022. (HT Photos)
A team of NDR of Crime Branch, R.K Puram, arrested a woman and her son for allegedly killing her husband and chopping the body into pieces in her house at Trilokpuri in New Delhi, India, on Monday, November 28, 2022. (HT Photos)
By, New Delhi

A woman and her son allegedly murdered a 55-year-old man earlier this summer, chopped his body into 10 pieces, stored them in their refrigerator and, over two days, threw the parts, police said on Monday, in a case with a stark resemblance to the alleged Shraddha Walkar murder that took place around the same time.

The victim was identified as Anjan Das, a resident of Trilokpuri. According to police officials, the case was cracked when they pored over security camera footage from locations in east Delhi’s Kalyanpuri, where some of the body parts were found, following which they zeroed in on the mother-son duo, who were seen making repeated trips with plastic bags in hand.

During questioning, the officials added, they broke down and owned up to their role. “When Poonam and Deepak were questioned separately, their versions didn’t match and were in fact found contradictory. Eventually, they broke down and disclosed that both of them hatched a conspiracy to murder Das and after killing him, they cut his body parts into pieces. They dumped the parts at various places in plastic bags at Ramlila Ground and a drain nearby,” said an investigator, who asked not to be named, adding that the two planned the murder in April.

The accused were identified as 48-year-old Poonam and her son, 25-year-old Deepak, whose last names were not shared by police. The duo told police that they killed Das sometime in the last week of May with a dagger and a knife, both of which were used in dismembering the body. The motive, according to what the two told police, was frequent fights between Poonam and Das, and that Das would purportedly molest another family member.

The police said no molestation complaint was filed by the family.

The murder took place at a Trilokpuri house where Poonam and Das lived.

Special Commissioner of Police (Crime) Ravindra Singh Yadav said Das was a lift mechanic and came from Bihar. Parts of his body were found on June 5 but his identity was not established until now, when the mother and son were identified and questioned.

A murder case was first registered at Pandav Nagar police station and investigation was also taken up by the Delhi Police’s crime branch, an official aware of the matter said.

Deputy commissioner of police (Crime Branch) Amit Goel said when teams were probing, they found CCTV footage from areas close to where Das’s remains were found, and saw that on the night of May 31, a woman and a man were seen throwing away plastic bags at a deserted spot in the Ram Leela Ground in Kalyanpuri. The duo was spotted doing the same in the afternoon on June 1.

The investigator quoted above said technical surveillance was then mounted and details of all mobile phone numbers active at the time in the area were examined, and door-to-door verification was conducted, following which they identified Poonam and Deepak. Information from locals then revealed to police that Poonam used to live with Das, who she said was away to his home in a Bihar village.

According to what they told police, they mixed sleeping pills into Das’s food before stabbing him to death. “They claim to have no knowledge of cutting the body but they knew that they shouldn’t immediately start chopping and let the blood drain out first,” the investigator said.

The DCP, quoting the duo’s statements, said after cutting up the body, the two refrigerated the pieces, cleaned the room with phenyl and other washing bars, before disposing of the parts.

The two then put the pieces in white coloured plastic bags and sacks and took at least two trips to the open field — one on the night of May 31 and the other on June 1 — to dispose the body parts. “They had initially either hidden the body parts or buried them. They were pulled out in the open by dogs and were subsequently found on June 5,” a second investigator said, asking not to be named.

To be sure, the statements made by the two do not hold evidentiary value – confessions are recorded at an appropriate stage in front of a magistrate. Police have also not yet recovered the murder weapon, the first investigator said.

Earlier this month, the Capital was rocked by disclosures and details surrounding the alleged murder of Walkar, who is missing since the summer. Walkar’s live-in partner, Aaftab Poonawala was the last person she was known to be with, and he has told police that he murdered her, dismembered her body and threw the parts one by one across spots in South Delhi. In his disclosures, he too cut the body up in several pieces and stored them in a fridge.

In Das’s case, he met the accused woman in 2011. “Das used to live on the floor above Poonam’s and after meeting him in 2011, the two developed a relationship. After her then husband Kallu’s death in 2016 due to liver failure, she started living with Das,” an investigator said.

A trigger for murder, the two told police, was that Das molested another family member, who separately alleged that he tried to rape her. Poonam also alleged that Das stole money from her and that they had repeated fights over his drinking habit.

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