(Trigger Warning: Descriptions of assault. Reader discretion advised.)
"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," said Shraddha Walkar in a purported 2020 complaint letter to Vasai Police.
Karan, Shraddha's former team leader, who the victim had reached out to in 2020, confirmed the veracity of the letter to The Quint.
The complaint states:
“I Shraddha Vikas Walkar, age 25, would like to report Aaftab Amin Poonawala, age 26, who has been abusing me and been beating me up. 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. His parents are aware that he beats me and that he tried to kill me. They also know about we living together in (Vasai) east and they visit on weekends," she wrote.
'This Could Have Been Avoided': Maharashtra Govt Takes Cognisance
Speaking to mediapersons, Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said that he also came across the letter and that its contents were "very serious."
He added, "Without blaming anybody, we need to know the truth… If the police had acted in a timely manner, this (Shraddha Walkar's murder) could have been avoided."
Fadnavis also stated that the letter and what action was taken by the police will also be probed.
‘Any Physical Damage Should Be Considered Coming From Him'
The purported police complaint brings the microscope on whether an investigation was carried out by the Vasai Police.
Here is what the rest of the complaint said:
"I lived with him till date as we were supposed to get married anytime soon and had the blessings of his family. Henceforth I am 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.”
Another statement accessed by The Quint, written by the police on 19 December 2020, states:
"Shraddha had filed a written complaint about domestic abuse but now everything between them is okay...it was their internal matter...there was a misunderstanding. Now, Shraddha does not wish to pursue the matter further and everything between them has been sorted out so she has taken back her complaint."
'Someone Had To Step In': Shraddha's Former Team Leader
Speaking to The Quint, Shraddha's former team leader, Karan, said:
"On 23 November 2020, she called me stating that she was in a bad state. This was happening regularly, so I asked her to send me a picture. When I saw the photo she sent I decided someone had to step in. She didn't use to speak to her parents much either. So I called my friend in Vasai - Godwin. He took her to the police station to file a complaint. Later however, Aaftab's parents assured her that he will leave her and stop harassing her. So she then didn't let the complaint turn into a First Investigation Report (FIR)."Karan, Shraddha's former team leader.
Since the alleged murder was committed nearly six months ago, the police are yet to recover key evidence such as the murder weapon, bloodstained clothes, and Shraddha's phone.