(Trigger Warning: Descriptions of assault. Reader discretion advised.)
On Monday, 21 November, the police and members of the Forensic Science Laboratory team are likely to conduct a narco analysis of the accused to retrieve clues about key evidence like the missing murder weapon, the deceased’s remains, bloodstained clothes, Shraddha’s phone, and other evidence in connection with the case.
The court allowed the police to conduct the narco-test after investigators stated that Poonawala’s replies were “largely evasive and non-cooperating.”
What is it: The accused will be injected with a drug called Sodium Pentothal, which lowers a person’s self-consciousness, making their speech less restricted.
Why it matters: Though the confessions during the test are not admissible in court, police forces resort to the method when investigators reach an impasse.
The Investigation So Far
With Poonawala’s custody ending on Tuesday, police teams have been conducting searches at Mehrauli forest, the flat in Chhatarpur where the crime took place, Gurgaon, Maharashtra, Dehradun, and some areas of Himachal Pradesh.
On Sunday, police teams went to Gurgaon for the third consecutive day and conducted searches around DLF Phase-3 forest area and other localities.
The accused, who continued working at a call centre in Gurgaon after the murder in May, is suspected to have discarded evidence on his way to work.
The 28-year-old accused was also taken to the room where he allegedly killed Walkar in order to assist police in finding the bag he carried while discarding the body parts.
While some reports stated that part of the skull and more bones were found in Mehrauli, a team of the police also tried to pump out water from Maidan Garhi Lake believing that Walkar’s dismembered head was thrown in the lake.
Earlier, 13 body parts, mostly skeletal remains, were also found from the searches.
All the evidence collected so far has been sent for forensic analysis to determine whether they are human bones and if they indeed were Shraddha’s. DNA samples from her father and brother have also been collected to match the same.
The Narco Analysis
With the gruesome crime having been committed over six months ago, the police face the challenge to recover crucial evidence to convict the accused.
As per media reports, police have prepared a questionnaire for Aaftab’s narco analysis, which will focus on the motive of the murder, the events leading up to the crime, and the destruction of evidence that followed.
A senior FSL official was quoted as saying that the narco analysis is time consuming and is done following a series of tests to determine the medical parameters of the accused, including an analysis by psychologists.