Mumbai: Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Friday met Vikas Walkar, the father of Shraddha Walkar whose murder and subsequent body mutilation by her boyfriend Aaftab Poonawalla is being probed by the policeof two states–Delhi and Maharashtra.
After meeting the Deputy CM, Mr Walkar along with BJP leader Kirit Somaiya held a presser for the first time since the sensational case started to make national headlines. He started the talk saying, “I am hurt after her death. My health has also worsened and I couldn't address you (media) earlier as her death impacted my health.”
Speaking further, he demanded capital punishment for Poonawalla whose judicial custody was extended by 14 days on Friday. “Aaftab Poonawalla should be punished the way he murdered my daughter. I only want that the investigation should be fair and Aaftab should be hanged to death,” he said. Mr Walkar also sought a probe against the family of Poonawalla and asked to punish them, too, if they were in any way involved in the gruesome murder.
He further said that he even called Poonawalla on Sept 26 of this year as one of Shraddha's friends had told Mr Walkar that her daughter had gone incommunicado. In his phone conversation, he asked the accused about the deceased but the latter outrightly denied knowing her whereabouts. To which, the father had countered that how come it's possible that he doesn't know where Shraddha is when both of them have been living together for more than two years. The last time he spoke to his daughter was in the middle of 2021, said Mr Walkar. At the time of leaving home, Shraddha had said that she could make her own decision as she was aged above 18, he recalled.
Mr Walkar also alleged that had the Vasai and Nalasopara police acted on Shraddha's complaint, she would have been alive now.In 2020,the deceased had written to the cops seeking help against Poonawalla's violent behaviour. The woman had also mentioned how the accused threatened to cut her into pieces, which he actually did. Demanding an inquiry against the police 'inaction', he said, “The Vasai and Nalasopara police showed a little negligence in my complaint. Maybe my daughter would have been alive, or I would have gotten more proof inthe murder case against Aaftab.” He expressed satisfaction with the current course of investigation.
As his daughter and the accused had met on a dating app, Mr Walkar said that the government should consider banning such things and even questioned should youth be really given complete freedom of choice once they turn 18.
He profusely thanked Mr Somaiya for helping him in the tough time while saying that the Deputy CM has assured him of justice. As Shraddha had written the complaint letter when the erstwhile MahaVikas Aghadi (MVA) was in power, Mr Fadnavis had earlier said that it needs to be investigated why the police didn't take any step on the grievance of the deceased.
A similar statement is now being echoed with BJP MLA Ram Kadam who held the previous Uddhav Thackeray led government responsible for Shraddha's murder. “Uddhav Thackeray and the MVA should apologise to Shraddha's family. In your reign,the poor girl had written a letter saying that her life was in danger and you did nothing. You are answerable for the murder of Shraddha,” he lashed.
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