Friday, Dec 08, 2023

How Gruesome Killings, Cyber Crimes, High Profile Cases Kept Delhi Police Busy In 2022

How Gruesome Killings, Cyber Crimes, High Profile Cases Kept Delhi Police Busy In 2022

Besides cracking cases, Delhi Police stepped up its social media game in 2022 to connect with the public, making memes using clips from popular Bollywood movies to conducting interactive sessions online.

Representative photograph of Delhi Police
Representative photograph of Delhi Police PTI

The year 2022 was one that brought gruesome killings and high-profile cases to Delhi Police, ranging from the Shraddha Walkar murder case to the case against fact-checker Mohammed Zubair and questioning of actors Jacqueline Fernandez and Nora Fatehi. 

The year saw Delhi Police work on the "Bulli Bai" case in which Muslim women were "auctioned" and the case of Zubair involving tweets that allegedly hurt religious sentiments. Delhi Police also scoured Delhi and other states for clues in the shocking murder of Shraddha.

Gruesome killings that rocked Delhi

Delhi Police pieced together the gory details of the murder of 27-year-old Shraddha, who was strangled to death and her body chopped into multiple pieces by her live-in partner Aaftab Poonawala at their home in south Delhi's Mehrauli. What emerged was a tale of love and abuse that sent shockwaves across the country.

Walkar's murder dominated prime-time television news for days, with the media closely following every development in the case.

After allegedly strangling Shraddha on May 18, Aaftab chopped her body into 35 pieces and kept them in a 300-litre fridge for almost three weeks at their residence before dumping them across the city over several days.

Aaftab's luck ran out after one of Walkar's friends informed her father that she was unable to reach her for the last two months. Aaftab's father filed a police complaint in Mumbai in September.

The case began unfolding in November when Delhi Police arrested Aaftab and launched a frantic search for Shraddha's body parts.

Following Aaftab's confession, police scanned various forest areas and even emptied a pond in Madangir to look for Walkar's missing body parts. Eventually, 13 body parts were recovered from forest areas of Mehrauli and Gurugram.

In a breakthrough, DNA samples extracted from the bones and traces of blood found at Walkar and Aaftab's house matched with her father's samples.

Aaftab underwent a polygraph test and a narco analysis. Though the findings of these tests are not admissible in court, confessions of the accused can aid further investigation.

Police, however, are yet to recover Shraddha's mobile phone which the accused allegedly threw somewhere.

In the coming year, police will have to depend on circumstantial and forensic evidence to prove Aaftab's guilt.

Days after Shraddha's murder case came to light, a similar incident was reported from east Delhi where a 45-year-old man was killed and his body chopped into pieces by his wife and stepson.

While police were busy trying to tie up the many loose ends of the Walkar murder case, an eerily similar case was reported from east Delhi's Pandav Nagar.

Anjan Das (45) was killed on May 30 by his wife Poonam (48) and stepson Deepak (25) on the suspicion that he had ill intentions towards his stepdaughter and daughter-in-law.

The mother-son duo later chopped Das' body into pieces and stuffed them inside a bag, which they dumped in Ramlila Ground in Kalyanpuri in June. His legs, thighs, skull and forearm were recovered last month.

Shock, outrage over acid attack on teen

Earlier this month, a 17-year-old girl was attacked with acid in west Delhi, exposing the glaring gaps in the implementation of the ban on the sale of acid.

Two masked men threw acid on a 17-year-old girl in Mohan Garden minutes after she left her west Delhi home for school. She suffered eight per cent burns.

Police arrested three men, including the victim's neighbour, hours after the attack.

The girl was friends with the main accused but had stopped talking to him a few months back. Angered by this, he planned the attack to take revenge, according to police.

The incident triggered widespread outrage, with women's rights groups raising questions over the availability of acid in markets despite a ban on its sale.

Mohammad Zubair's case

The arrest of Mohammad Zubair, co-founder of fact-checking website Alt News, in June made headlines around the world and drew criticism from journalists and activists.

According to police, Zubair was arrested for allegedly hurting religious sentiments through one of his tweets posted in 2018 that included a questionable image to deliberately insult the god of a particular religion.

Sukesh Chandrashekhar's case involving actors

Alleged conman Sukesh Chandrashekhar also kept the investigators busy as they tried to unravel the conspiracy behind the Rs 200 crore extortion case involving high-profile personalities like Bollywood actor Jacqueline Fernandez.

Actor Nora Fatehi also came on the radar of investigators for her "professional" association with Chandrashekhar.

Bulli Bai and Sulli Deals cases 

Earlier in the year, two mobile apps "Bulli Bai" and "Sulli Deals" created a massive uproar after it was found that hundreds of Muslim women, including several prominent personalities, were listed on them for "auction".

The pictures of these women were sourced without their permission and doctored.

Delhi Police's Cyber Cell cracked the case with the arrest of 20-year-old Niraj Bishnoi, who was the creator of the "Bulli Bai" app, from Assam's Jorhat.

Delhi's Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena granted sanction to prosecute the main accused in the 'Sulli Deals' case -- Aumkareshwar Thakur.

Thakur had allegedly created the 'Sulli Deals' app and a Twitter handle with the same name to "auction" Muslim women.

Besides cracking cases, Delhi Police stepped up its social media game in 2022 to connect with the public.

From making memes using clips from popular Bollywood movies to conducting interactive sessions online, it tapped into the latest social media trends to spread awareness about cyber and financial crimes and showcase its citizen-centric initiatives. 

(With PTI inputs)