Twelve years before Shraddha Walkar’s murder shook the country, Dehradun lived its own nightmare with the Anupama Gulati killing, in which her husband sawed her body into 72 pieces and froze them, before dumping them over several days.
The two horrific murders have several aspects in common. Experts here said they not only reveal the brutality of the killers but also the fact that the murders were premeditated, and not committed in a fit of rage.
Former Dehradun Senior Superintendent of Police G S Martolia, during whose tenure the Anupam Gulati murder case was uncovered, told PTI that people who commit murders in such manner cannot be considered ”normal”.
”In my entire career, I had never come across a case like this where the killer perpetrated such brutal atrocities on the dead body,” Martolia added.
Such murders do not happen out of the blue. Signals begin to manifest in the form of quarrels and acts of domestic violence, he said.
The killers in both the cases did not just use a saw to chop the body but also used a fridge or a deep freezer to hide the pieces and the foul smell.
Just as Walkar’s killer Aftab Poonawala kept going to the forest area of Chhatarpur after midnight to dispose the body parts, Anupama Gulati’s husband Rajesh Gulati went to the Mussoorie diversion on Rajpur Road for days to dump them in a drain.
In both cases, the killers were clever enough to not let any of their neighbours get a wind of the gruesome crime for months.
Anupama Gulati’s husband misled her family and friends by sending them messages from her mail ID. Poonawala kept updating Shraddha Walkar’s social media status for weeks.
Anupama was killed on October 17, 2010, but it came to light on December 12, 2010. It came to the fore when her brother lodged a police complaint after having failed to make contact with his sister for several days.
In Shraddha Walkar’s case, a friend informed her brother about her phone being not reachable after which her father approached the police and lodged a missing complaint.
Martolia said families and friends can play an active role in preventing or checking such incidents by staying in touch with their near and dear ones living away.
Anupama Gulati’s husband, software engineer Rajesh Gulati, is serving a life sentence.