Went to Delhi Jungle With Cops to Recover Her Remains: Shraddha Walkar’s Father

“I didn’t approve of the relationship because his religion is different from ours,” said Vikas Walkar.

3 min read
Hindi Female

(Trigger Warning: Descriptions of violence.)

“I had met Aaftab but never spoke to him. I didn’t like him and didn’t want my daughter to be in a relationship with him… But I never thought this would happen,” said Vikas Walkar, father of Shraddha Walkar, a 26-year-old woman who was killed, allegedly by her live-in partner, in Delhi on 18 May this year. 

Gory details of the case emerged on 14 November, two days after the accused – 28-year-old Aaftab Poonawala – was arrested by the Delhi Police. Additional DCP (south) Ankit Chauhan told The Quint:

“The couple fought often and on the day of the fight, the issue was that Walkar accused Poonawala of infidelity. He strangled her and chopped her body into pieces. After this, he stored them in a fridge, and disposed them off across 18 locations in Delhi over a span of few months.”  

Chauhan said that “a few parts have been recovered from the jungles of south Delhi’s Mehrauli but they are highly decomposed and will be sent for tests.” He also said that Poonawala used incense sticks and room fresheners at home to get rid of the stench of rotting flesh. 

Vikas, the victim’s father, told The Quint that he accompanied the police to the jungles of Mehrauli as they recovered the remains of his daughter. 

“Yakeen nahi ho raha hai ki aisa hua hai,” said the 59-year-old Mumbai-based businessman. 

'Found Out From Her Friends That Aaftab Was Violent With My Daughter'

It was in May that Shraddha and Aaftab moved to Delhi from Mumbai after a vacation in the hills. They took up a rented house in Chhatarpur, said police.  

“When I couldn’t get through my daughter’s number, I finally went to Mumbai police in August. They kept asking why I didn’t come sooner… The police said her last call detail record (CDR) showed that she was in Delhi, so the case was transferred to the Delhi Police,” said Vikas.  

He said that not only was her phone inactive, but her bank accounts too had reported no activity since May. 

Over a phone call, Vikas claimed to The Quint, “She never told me about the violence. I found out much later, when she had gone missing. Her friends told me that Aaftab was violent, that he would beat up my daughter often, and that this was not a good relationship. They tried to get her out of it but it didn’t work.”  

He claimed that Shraddha did not confide in her brother either about the violence she had been facing. “If he did kill her, if the investigation finds him guilty, then we want him to be hanged to death,” said her distraught father. 

'Didn't Approve of Relationship Because of Different Religion'

Shraddha is survived by her father and brother in Mumbai. Her parents lived apart, and the siblings lived with their mother. In 2020, their mother passed away.  

“The last time I spoke to her was in mid-2021 over a phone call. I asked her about her well-being, where she was, if she had a job. She told me that she lived in Bengaluru… She lied to me. I later found out that she was in Mumbai only with Aaftab,” said Vikas.  

Shraddha and Aaftab met on a dating app and had been together since 2019.

“I didn’t approve of the relationship because his religion is different from ours,” said Vikas.  

He said that when Shraddha told him that she will be living with Aaftab, he tried to discourage her. “I told her don’t live with him. Yeh galat hai. I told her to not take this relationship forward…. Nahi toh biraadari se baahar nikal jao. She didn’t listen to me,” said Vikas.

He said that after this conversation, Shraddha left home and started living with Aaftab in Mumbai in 2020. In May 2022, the couple moved to Delhi.


'Daughter Was Brave, Managed Everything Alone' 

Shraddha was a graduate in mass media, worked at a call centre in Mumbai, and at a popular athletic clothing store, informed her father. Vikas told The Quint, “She was a quiet teenager but just before she graduated from college, her behaviour changed.” 

Vikas said that he “didn’t approve of her modern lifestyle, the short hair, modern clothes, and that extended members of the family too commented on that.” 

When he couldn’t get through Shraddha’s phone post May, Vikas said that at first he wasn’t too worried.

Woh nidar ladki thi, kuch bhi akele manage kar leti thi… She was like this only. That’s why I didn’t worry that she will manage her furure. Bahut galat hua hai…,” said Vikas.  

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