-By Dr Naresh Purohit

(Neuro- Researcher and Advisor- National Mental Health Programme)

Following the horrific Delhi murder case where a man, Aaftab Ameen Poonawalla, 28, was arrested for allegedly killing his 26-year-old live-in partner Shraddha Vikas Walkar, chopping her body into 35 pieces, and disposing of the body parts at different places in and around the national capital   has sent the nation into a tizzy and posing questions about how to identify such killers.


This crime, points  that there is something beyond insane, bordering on a demonic nature in Aftab to execute this gruesome murder of Shraddha. He chopped her into 35 pieces after strangulating her and stored the chopped pieces of her body in a newly purchased fridge.

Aftab did not love Shraddha. Love is not heinous. His crime is beyond heinous. It is repulsive. It is scary that we have psychotics on the loose in the cities of India. More disturbing is the lack of remorse in the man and the sheer diabolical mind to live with the woman you have chopped into 35 pieces in the same house and whose body parts you have stored in the fridge where you continue to keep the ice cream and other food items you consume.

It is said that love can break ones heart into many pieces but it is never said that love could chop ones body into 35 pieces.
Even more intriguing is that after brutally murdering Shraddha, Aftab continues to socialize with other women and also reportedly brings one to the house in which chopped body parts of Shraddha are still remaining.


Personality traits play a bigger role in serial killing. Accused must’ve done what he did in the moment of rage and pent up furry against his girlfriend. Personality traits like rage, serious aggression issues, lack of empathy and egoism play a bigger role in such reported crimes.These type of serial killers do not feel the same emotions like we do.We all are on a different gradient on the emotional spectrum, while some people may be over emotional, others may be under emotional. Yet, we will normally experience some emotion. These people certainly do not feel the gravity of their actions. That is where the phrase, cold-blooded murderer comes from. Serial killers always kill people they have no direct relationship with. Serial killers also lack emotion, but they commit crimes because of a specific motive, whereas a psychopath may harm his acquaintances or even relatives.


It  has been reported that Aftab was  inspired by the American crime show called Dexter, which tells the story of a man with homicidal tendencies who lives a double life. These shows, documentaries and films are being consumed at a higher rate in the modern urbane society and are capable of disturbing the mental health of a person . A person with personality traits like anger, rage , lack of empathy already has a tendency to commit a crime and after consuming such content it may encourage the person to do so.


Anger and aggressive nature are seen in a psychopath person. Such people do not cause any dangerous incident.Their lifestyle is a little different. A person with psychopathy disorder does not care about anyone. When psychopaths watch a movie or a web series, their first choice is to see some violence in them and learn new methods of crime. So that they can execute any crime very well. It is worrying that a person does not even know that he is suffering from this disease.

Antisocial personality disorder is also seen in some cases due to psychopathy personality disorder. Because of this, these people live in their own world without caring about anyone. A person suffering from psychopathy disorder can also have paranoid and schizoid disorders. People start going crazy with these diseases. Person  doesn’t even think before something dangerous happens. It is only caused by these diseases.


There is a need to be more open about mental health when it comes to identifying such personalities. 

In most cases the outcome can be traced back to childhood trauma and because mental health is still considered taboo in most parts of the globe even now, people battling such trauma or mental health issues can consider themselves to be weak. This suppressed emotion makes them want to target people who they consider weaker than them. 

Even though it is difficult for normal people to identify such people.If someone is coming up with different versions of the same topic, its easy to tell they are manipulating their personality or they are showing off too much as they are under constant fear to mask their personality. They dont want their real personalities to show which is why they will be extra sweet, and that is the reason why more people are attracted to them very easily. Initially, they will overdo romantic gestures, always be on call with him/her and would be over-invested. These are signs one must look out for because anything in excess is not good and balanced people have a balanced approach.  With these people, the high points and the low points in the relationship are drastic. They can lose interest very fast once the initial phase is over. The moment they think they have the situation or the person under control, then they will show their actual colour.


Aftab is a Muslim and over the recent months, we have seen reportage of several cases of Hindu women becoming victims of horrific crimes by Muslim men whom they claimed to be in love with.

There is also a rise in cases termed Love Jihad which is not a myth but a reality. It is a strategy of planned moves to lure Hindu and Christian women by Islamic radicalised men, befriend them, fall in love with them, marry them and convert them. And sometimes it also leads to the extreme where they are inflicted with torture and death. The issue of Aftab and Shraddha goes beyond inter-faith relationships. It goes even beyond the horrid Love Jihad. It is simply a case of a psychopath, posing as a lover, intending to brutally murder his victim. Love was the bait. And Shraddha took the bait and fell for it hook, line and sinker. Nothing has been done to protect the Hindu girls from the trap; rather, the ways have seen amplification in the past few years. There is a constant subjugation of non-Muslim women, and the women themselves are not able to see it. The urgent need is to control the menace so that one more Aftab does not feed the chopped body of Shraddha to dogs, one more Nikita Tomar doesn’t get shot, and no more Priya is buried with her minor daughter.