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In 2020, Shraddha Walkar told cops Aaftab Poonawala will ‘kill… cut’ her; they sat on it

In November 2020, Shraddha Walkar had complained to the police that her live-in partner Aaftab Poonawala was physically assaulting her and threatening to kill her. Police sources said she withdrew the complaint later.

Poonawala, who allegedly killed Walkar, chopped her body into several pieces and scattered them around several areas in Delhi, was arrested on November 12. (Images: Facebook)

The emergence of a written complaint in which Shraddha Walkar, who was killed allegedly by her live-in partner Aaftab Poonawala in Delhi in May this year, told the police in Mumbai two years ago that “he tried to kill me” and threatened to “cut me up in pieces and throw me away”, has added a fresh twist to the case.

The complaint, submitted on November 23, 2020, has also raised questions over police inaction — and led to a political firestorm with Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis saying his government will investigate why “no action was taken” by police under the previous MVA regime.

On Wednesday, the police said Walkar withdrew the complaint 26 days after submitting it and said that her dispute with Poonawala had been resolved.

However, when asked by The Indian Express, a police officer at the Tulinj police station where the complaint was submitted, admitted that they had not summoned Poonawala even once.

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“We did not summon Aaftab. We were first waiting to record the detailed statement of the complainant. We would have called Aaftab for questioning after that,” said Senior Police Inspector Rajendra Kamble.

When asked about the probe that was conducted after receiving the complaint, Kamble said, “We were calling Shraddha to come to record her detailed statement. We also visited her home twice. Once it was locked… the second time was on December 19, when she said that she wants to withdraw her complaint.”

The police said that after recording her statement, Walkar was informed through a letter that an inquiry into her complaint was being closed.

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Sub Inspector Sandeep Bhosale, who was asked to probe the complaint, was not available for comment. But The Indian Express spoke to several retired senior officers who said the police should have acted promptly on the complaint.

Following his arrest 11 days ago, about a month after Walkar was reported missing, Poonawala allegedly told Delhi Police that he had strangled her on May 18 this year at their rented flat in Delhi’s Mehrauli area, cut her body into over 30 pieces and dumped the parts in a forest nearby.

In her written complaint submitted two years ago, Walkar wrote: “Today, he tried to kill me by suffocating me and he scares and blackmails me that he will kill me, cut me up in pieces and throw me away. It’s been 6 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.”

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Walkar also wrote that she was staying with Poonawala and they were planning to get married. According to the complaint, Poonawala’s family was aware of their relationship and that he was abusive towards her.

“His parents are aware that he beats me and that he tried to kill me. They also know about we living-in together in east and they visit on weekends. I lived with him till date as we were supposed to get married anytime soon and had the blessings of his family,” Walkar’s complaint stated.

She also wrote that she does not want to stay with Poonawala any more. “Henceforth I’m not willing to live with him so any kind of physical damage should be considered coming from him as he has been blackmailing me to kill me or hurt me whenever he sees me anywhere,” she stated in the complaint.

On December 3, 2020, ten days after filing her complaint, Walkar underwent treatment at Ozone Multispeciality Hospital in Nalasopara for three days for suspected internal injuries.

According to Kamble, she subsequently retracted her complaint.

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“We initiated an inquiry and sent her summons. We contacted her on several occasions asking her to come to the police station. She kept asking for time and later recorded a statement stating that she was withdrawing her complaint,” Kamble said.

According to the police, Walkar’s statement on retracting her complaint was recorded on December 19, 2020, at the rented apartment in Vasai where the couple were staying at the time.

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The statement read: “There was a dispute between me and Poonawala after which I lodged a complaint with the police on November 23 (2020). Later, Poonawala’s parents came to our home and counselled us due to which our dispute was resolved. So I further pray to the police to withdraw my complaint.”

First published on: 23-11-2022 at 12:53 IST
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