Shraddha Walkar to Nikki Yadav: Is India Witnessing a Spate of Copycat Crimes?

A copycat crime is one that is modelled after or 'inspired' by a previous crime that is reported by media.

3 min read
Shraddha Walkar to Nikki Yadav: Is India Witnessing a Spate of Copycat Crimes?
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(Trigger Warning: Description of violence. Reader discretion advised.)

At least five Shraddha Walkar-like murders have come to light since November 2022, when the gory details of Aaftab Poonawala's alleged killing of his live-in partner were first reported.

Poonawala had allegedly dismembered Shraddha Walkar, stored the body inside their fridge, and scattered her body parts over time across Delhi.

A spate of similar killings is dominating the headlines yet again – in what appears to be like a wave of 'copycat' murders.

But first, what is a copycat crime? A copycat crime is one that is modelled after or 'inspired' by a previous crime that is reported by the media or published in fiction.


Delhi Man Kills Live-In Partner, Stores Body, Marries Another Woman on Same Day

Twenty-three-year-old Nikki Yadav was strangled to death allegedly by her live-in partner Sahil Gehlot on the intervening night of 9-10 February.

As per the Delhi Police, 24-year-old Gehlot first strangled her using the charging cable of his phone and then stuffed her body inside a refrigerator at a dhaba owned by his family in Najafgarh's Mitraon village. Gehlot then got married to another woman on the same day.

"She wanted to pursue her PhD and become a professor," said Nikki Yadav's uncle Parveen, as he stepped out of the mortuary at the Deen Dayal Upadhyay Hospital in West Delhi's Hari Nagar on Wednesday, 15 February.

Man Allegedly Kills Live-In Partner Near Mumbai, Hides Her Body in Bed Box

A Mumbai court on Wednesday, 15 February, sent a 27-year-old Hardik Shah to five-day police custody, after he was arrested for allegedly killing his live-in partner near Mumbai's Nalasopara.

According to the Mumbai Police, he hid 37-year-old Megha's Torbi body in the storage area of his bed in their rented house.

The murder came to light after residents of the building reported a foul smell emanating from the apartment. Local police officials broke open the door of the room and found the woman's body.


Nephew Allegedly Kills Widowed Aunt in Jaipur

The Rajasthan Police arrested arrested Anuj Sharma for allegedly killing his widowed aunt and chopping her body into 10 pieces with a marble cutter machine, before dumping them at different places in the jungle, in Jaipur, on 11 December.

The incident took place in Lalpuria apartment Sector-2 in Vidyadharnagar area of Jaipur, where Anuj allegedly killed his aunt Saroj Sharma by hitting her on the head with a hammer.

He then reportedly reached the police station and filed a missing report of his aunt to escape suspicion.


UP Man Held After Parts of Woman's Body Found in Well, Head Recovered From Pond

Close on the heels of the gruesome murder of Shraddha Walkar, a 24-year-old man was arrested in Uttar Pradesh's Azamgarh for allegedly killing a woman and chopping her body before disposing of it in a well, police said on 20 November.

The incident had come to light after locals had found the dismembered and partially naked body in the well. The deceased was identified as 22-year-old Aradhana Prajapati, a resident of Ishaq Pur village. Her identity was determined on the basis of a bangle and a thread on her wrist, and the nail paint on her feet.

After investigation and CDR (call detail record) analysis, Prince Yadav, who had allegedly been in a relationship with the deceased for about two years, was arrested on Saturday, the police said.


Mother-Son Duo Held for Strangling Father to Death In West Bengal

Police arrested a mother-son duo on 20 November after they disposed of the father's body about 500 metres away from their house in Baruipur, South 24 Parganas district in West Bengal, after they allegedly murdered him.

The incident took place on 14 November when the son, Joy Chakraborty (25) got into an altercation with his father, Ujjwal Chakraborty (55).

The argument reportedly got heated and Joy allegedly strangled his father, in a 'fit of rage.'

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Topics:  Nikki Yadav Murder 

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