Nagpur: Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, in the state assembly on Tuesday, announced that a special investigation team (SIT) comprising senior police officers will be established to probe the Shraddha Walker murder case. He also announced that the probe findings will be disclosed to the legislature in the budget session of the state legislature.
Fadnavis, who holds the home department, also said that an investigation will be conducted to determine what police action was taken in response to a complaint made by Shraddha Walker against Aaftab Poonawala in November 2020. Shraddha was allegedly murdered by her live-in partner in May of this year, and he's accused of chopping her body into 35 pieces. Fadnavis was responding to discussion on calling attention motion in connection with Shraddha Walkar murder case.
Shraddha had registered complaint in Maharahstra
Shraddha filed a police report against Aaftab Amin Poonawala in 2020, alleging that he threatened to kill her and cut her into pieces. She had filed a complaint with the Tulinj police station in Maharashtra's Palghar district, alleging that Aaftab had assaulted her and threatened to kill her.
Fadnavis's response on whether there was political pressure on Maha police
BJP MLA Atul Bhatkhalkar wanted to know whether there was political pressure on the police not to act when they received the complaint from Shraddha Walker. Another BJP MLA Ashish Shelar also raised the same issue.
‘’So far it has been found there wasn't political pressure on Shraddha Walkar to withdraw the complaint. We are investigating the matter,’’ Fadnavis told the assembly. ‘’There was a month's gap between filing and withdrawing of the complaint. We will probe what action the police take during that time,” he said.
Police instructed for quick action in such cases for future: Fadnavis
Fadnavis said the police have been instructed through the Director General of Police that when a case of violence comes up, especially in interfaith marriages, they should act immediately or at least hear the woman’s argument. Against the backdrop of the state government’s decision to establish a committee to track inter faith marriages, the DCM made it clear that the state government is not against inter faith marriages.
‘’However, it has been realised that there is a design as part of a conspiracy. In some districts such marriages are taking place in big numbers. The committee has been formed so that a woman can approach them to present its case,’’ said Mr Fadnavis. ‘’The committee (headed by the women and child welfare minister Mangal Prabhat Lodha) is for the same purpose. When Shraddha Walker's father had said we did not understand where to go as we could have saved her had someone facilitated a task with her. People do not know whether to go in such a situation and the committee is for facilitation,’’ he noted.
On anti Love Jihad Law
Bhatkhalkar pressed the need for anti Love Jihad act in Maharashtra. In his response, Fadnavis said that the state government will study the acts passed by various states and then take a call in this regard.
Meanwhile, Leader of opposition Ajit Pawar demanded that the state government should tell the Union Home Minister Amit Shah to complete the trial of the case in fast track court and Aaftab Poonawala should be punished with execution. Fadnavis assured that he will make an appeal to the home minister in this regard.
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