Aaftab Poonawala was on drugs; Shraddha wanted to break up with him, say cops | Delhi News – Times of India

NEW DELHI/MUMBAI: Did Aaftab Poonawala kill Shraddha Walkar for fear of being exposed? Delhi Police is trying to ascertain, by scanning chat records and other phone details, whether this was why Aaftab strangled Walkar and dismembered her body.
The cops are trying to establish the hitherto missing motive for such a gruesome murder and the first indication they have is Walkar’s chat with friends where it is amply clear, they say, that she wanted to end her relationship with her live-in partner but wasn’t being allowed to do so.
Aaftab has told Delhi Police that he was under the influence of drugs on the day of the murder. Police sources said that Aaftab indeed smoked cannabis and had done so on the day of the murder. Walkar regularly upbraided him for this as perhaps she did on the day she was killed. But refuting that his brutality could have been a result of drug use, Walkar’s friends say that she was a victim of violence.
Chats with friends point to a history Of violence
Shraddha Walkar’s senior at work has told cops that she often requested leave from work due to bruises. A doctor who treated her has also recorded his statement.
Some of Shraddha’s friends alleged she was assaulted by her live-in partner Aaftab Poonawala on November 23, 2020. Rahul Rai, who had met Shraddha through a common friend Godwin Rodrigues, said he had accompanied her to Tulinj police station in Nalasopara (East) and she had submitted an application and was asked to get a medical test done. She, however, changed her mind, said Rai.
Tulinj police said an application was filed but the victim left without filing a complaint. One report said that Aaftab had arrived there and entreated her to take back the complaint, threatening to kill himself otherwise. Shraddha forgave him and returned to him.
Screenshots of her chats with her friends and her office colleagues show Shraddha was a victim of violence and constant beatings by Aaftab. In some of the chats accessed by TOI, she can be seen trying to move out. In one dated November 24, 2020, she told her reporting manager: “He’s moving out today, and I won’t be able to make it today because from (sic) all the beating yesterday, I guess my BP is low and my body hurts. Energy nahi bachi hain bed se uthne ki. Also I need to make sure he moves out today. Sincere apologies for the trouble I have caused to you and the way it impacted work.”
In another chat, she told a friend that she couldn’t report to work because she needed to make more rounds of the police station. The friend responded by saying that she should meet the “mahila mandal” people. In other chats, her friends gave her the contact number of people in her area she could reach out to for help. In one of the chats, a friend wrote, “Don’t be scared, we all r with you”. The same conversation shares an address where she could go for safety.
A photograph of Shraddha with bruises on her nose and cheek also surfaced on social media platforms on Friday. Rodrigues was quoted by news channels as saying that Aaftab had assaulted Shraddha multiple times and she had tried to file a case against him. He repeatedly called her on her cellphone and left messages threatening to commit suicide if she complained against him. Rodriques was quoted as saying that Shraddha had confided in him about Aaftab selling drugs by mixing it in brownies that he baked at their Evershine City, Vasai (East), home. Rodrigues alleged that Shraddha was under pressure from Aaftab’s parents, who wanted her to stand by him to help him control his anger.
Earlier in the day, it had emerged that Shraddha was admitted at Ozone Hospital in Nalasopara (East) from December 3 to 6, 2020 after she complained of severe neck and shoulder pain. Dr Shivprasad Shinde then diagnosed it as a case of cervical spondylosis. On Friday, he recalled that there was no external injury on the patient and her condition could have been due to long hours of sitting and lack of exercise. He said though physical assault can also a cause for spondylosis trauma, in case of Shraddha, there was no such indication, nor did she speak of any violence. He said Aaftab visited her in the hospital but he could not recollect how she had introduced him.
Meanwhile, Delhi Police has in a statement said that “at this juncture, it will be premature to provide any single theory which can stand the test of judicial scrutiny. Thus, an open-minded and open-ended investigation… is being carried out in right earnest.”
Police said that “in view of the deceptive nature of the responses being so far provided by the accused, an application for conducting his narco-analysis test was made and, after due consideration, approved by the honourable court.” It added: “Each uttering of the accused is being assessed upon the crucible of admissible evidentiary value.” Multiple police teams are working on the case.

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