“Was shattered at the sight of the bruises…”: former associate of Shraddha Walkar

Shraddha’s bruised face in a photo she shared with friends.

Mumbai/New Delhi:

The colleague to whom Shraddha Walkar told about an attack by friend Aftab Poonawala two years ago, Karan, today said he was under the impression that they had broken up after the intervention of the police and Aftab’s parents. Karan said he then tried to help her and kept checking on her for a few weeks, but now saw in the news that Aftab allegedly killed Shraddha in May this year.

“I first heard about domestic violence in November 2020. Before that, she often called in sick,” says Karan, her team manager when she worked at a call center near her hometown of Vasai in Mumbai.

“In the WhatsApp chat, I told her to send me a photo. I was very devastated and heartbroken to see how someone could treat her so badly. She had bruises under her right eye… also on her neck,” she said. he. NDTV. “Later, a friend I contacted to help her also told me she had burns on her stomach.”

Screenshots from their chat show where he offered to help her – he said she could be with his mother and sister for immediate safety – other than helping her approach the police. He said he knew that Shraddha and Aftab were married as she referred to him as her husband.

“After going to the police, she filed a written complaint. But in the meantime, she spoke to Aftab and he told her that he would hurt himself (if she left). She also went to his parents’ house and they told her he would leave the house (which he and Shraddha had rented together) and that he will cut all ties and never bother her. Only after that did she think about not filing a complaint with the police,” Karan said.

“I followed up every week or two to make sure she was safe, to make sure she wasn’t going through the same thing again. We were under the impression that he was no longer with her,” he added please.

“I don’t know how they got back together later. I didn’t know she moved to Delhi. When all this was in the news, I got to know it,” he added.

Shraddha, 26, and Aftab, 28, both call center workers, had moved to Delhi in May and four days later, after another argument over expenses and infidelity, he strangled her to death and later chopped the body into 35 pieces which he kept in a refrigerator and discarded in a jungle for 18 days, police have said.

The crime came to light last month when her father — who had not spoken to her since May 2021 because he did not approve of her interfaith (Hindu-Muslim) relationship with Aftab — went to the police as her friends warned. him that she also hadn’t had any contact with them for months.

When she left the job in March 2021, she told Karan that she got a new job with a content writing company that would provide her travel opportunities. “I was very happy for her that she had all the time in the world to make a career. She was very young, just 23 or 24.”

A month before changing jobs, she had told a doctor about her depression and how her boyfriend Aftab was violent over minor issues. She told him she was afraid he might harm her, herself, or both.

Karan said he has not yet received a call from the police, but “I will be willing to help if they contact me”.

“I want to tell all girls who live alone – and it’s not about religion, be it Hindu, Muslim, Sikh or Christian, regardless of race or caste – don’t isolate yourself; always keep in touch with friends and family,” said he. said. “There is always someone who will support you. Better to get out of an abusive relationship.”

Aftab was sent to five additional days of police detention by a Delhi court on Nov. 17, as police said important evidence — such as identifiable body parts, the knife he used, their clothes from the day of the murder and Shraddha’s phone — was needed. to be found.

Police have also been given permission to conduct narco-analysis, a chemical-based lie-detection test, which could lead police to material evidence and confirm his alleged confession.

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