“Hang Aaftab Poonawala…Probe Family Too”: Shraddha Walkar’s Father

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Vikas Walkar, father of 27-year-old Shraddha Walkar who was brutally murdered in Delhi by her live-in boyfriend Aaftab Amin Poonawala, said Aaftab should be punished the same way he killed his daughter. “There should be proper investigation, and he should be hanged to death,” he said at a press conference today.

He also called for a probe against his family members, and others who might have been involved in the gruesome murder.

Furthermore, he also questioned the “freedom” that people get on turning 18 years old, saying it should be given more thought. Mr Walkar demanded action against some mobile applications which are “creating trouble”.

“There should be counselling and control over children who turn 18. My daughter told me while leaving home that she was an adult, that’s why I am saying this,” he said, adding that “ happened to him” shouldn’t happen to anyone else.

Shraddha had met Aaftab in Mumbai through the mobile dating application Bumble. Police had written to Bumble seeking details from Aaftab’s account to help in the investigation, and reached out to other women he met through it while Shraddha’s body parts were still at his Chattarpur apartment.

While satisfied with the direction of the probe now, Mr Walkar said he was upset with laxity initially.

“The probe so far by Delhi and Vasai police is going in the right way. Still, Vasai police Nalasopara police were lax in the probe, I am upset at that. Due to this, my daughter could not be saved. It would have helped me get some proof,” he said.

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asked if they had closed all doors for Shraddha to return home once she started living with Aaftab, something many believe could have left her isolated and unable to seek refuge from the abuse, he said, “I want to know the reason too. I tried to know, but she never answered all my questions.”

On Shraddha’s complaint to the cops in 2019 after he beat her up at a flat they shared, where she said that his family knew about his violent behaviour, he said he wasn’t aware of it. The local police had said Shraddha later gave another written statement that “we no longer have any quarrel” after Aaftab’s parents spoke to them, and asked for no action to be taken.

“Today he tried to kill me by suffocating me, and he scares me and blackmails me that he will kill me, cut me up in pieces and throw me away. It’s been six months he has been hitting me, but I did not have the guts to go to the police because he would threaten to kill me,” the letter said.

Mr Walkar said the Delhi Lieutenant Governor and Delhi police officials, and now Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, have assured that we will get justice.

He also thanked BJP Maharashtra vice president Kirit Somaiya and Shiv Sena Thackeray faction MLA Neelam Gorhe for meeting him.

“Mr Somaiya helped me with transport too. Would like to thank him,” he said.