Aaaftab Amin Poonawala had revealed to Shraddha Walkar’s father that he had “strangulated” her with “his own hands”, the father of the victim on Monday testified in a Delhi court that was recording the statements of the witnesses in the sensational murder case.
The father also testified about Poonawala’s statement that after strangulating the victim, he bought a saw, chopped off her wrists and put those in a trash bag.
Shraddha Walkar, who was in a live-in relationship with accused Poonawala (28), was allegedly strangulated by the latter on May 18 last year. The accused allegedly dismembered her body, kept the body parts in a fridge and disposed those of at desolate places across Delhi over several days to dodge police and the public.
Many of the body parts were found later from a forest near the accused’s house.
Vikas Madan Walkar, who was examined as a prosecution witness by the public prosecutor before Additional Sessions Judge Manisha Khurana Kakkar, testified that he went to the Mehrauli police station on November 11, 2022, where he was asked by the police officials whether he recognised Poonawala.
“I replied in the affirmative and said this is Poonawala, who was living with my daughter for the last three years. I also informed the police that he quarrelled with my daughter and beat her up on several occasions,” Vikas Walkar said.
He said at the police station, he saw officials interrogating Poonawala about the transfer of an amount from Shraddha’s account on May 20 (two days after the killing). Poonawala got perplexed and said no such thing had happened, he said.
“On my inquiry from Poonawala as to where my daughter was, he said she was no more…,” Vikas Walkar said.
“I was shocked and started feeling dizzy. When I recovered after a while, Poonawala started revealing how he killed my daughter. He told me that he had a fight with my daughter on May 18, 2022 at their Chhatarpur residence and further informed me that he had strangulated Shraddha with his own hands,” he said.
The victim’s father deposed that Poonawala also told him that after killing Shraddha, he purchased an “aari” (saw), two extra blades, a hammer etc. from a hardware store and at night, chopped both her wrists off and put those in a polythene or trash bag.
Vikas Walkar also deposed about meeting Poonawala for the first time after his wife’s death in January 2020, when Shraddha brought the accused to her father’s house in Mumbai.
When the family opposed Shraddha’s decision to opt for a live-in relationship with Poonawala in 2019, the victim said being a 25-year-old woman, she was capable of taking her own decisions and that her father could well assume that henceforth, she ceased to be her daughter, Vikas Walkar said.
The examination-in-chief of the victim’s father will continue on August 5.
According to the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), witnesses are examined by the public prosecutor in support of the prosecution’s case and at the conclusion of the examination-in-chief, the defence counsel cross-examines the witnesses.