Shraddha murder: Poonawalla appears in court virtually amid security concerns
A Delhi court granted police's application on Thursday to produce Aftab Ameen Poonawalla, the prime suspect in the Shradha Walkar murder case, through video conferencing. Police had expressed concerns over "some religious organizations and miscreants may attack" him during physical hearing. In another major development in the case, Delhi Police is expected to take the accused to Himachal Pradesh's Parvati Valley to gather evidence.
Why does this story matter?
- Poonawalla was arrested on Saturday by the Delhi Police for allegedly murdering Walker on May 18, chopping up her body into pieces, and then disposing of it.
- As per reports, the couple met on a dating app in Mumbai while working.
- A couple of years into their relationship, the two moved to Delhi as the deceased's parents disapproved of their inter-faith relationship.
Delhi Police's two appeals to court
Delhi Police moved two applications, one for an extension of Poonawalla's custody and the other asking for videoconferencing, stating that they had information that "some religious organizations and miscreants may attack the accused." Crowds outside the courtroom grew in numbers when the judge adjourned the matter at 4pm, with lawyers shouting slogans demanding the death penalty for Poonawalla, reported The Indian Express.
Aware of sensitivity, media coverage it received: Metropolitan Magistrate
"I would request everyone to abide by the rule of law. Some may feel that justice is not done. But justice will be dispensed. I am aware of the sensitivity and media coverage it has received. Because of the threat perception, I am allowing application for production of the accused through VC at 4pm," Aviral Shukla, Metropolitan Magistrate, said.
Fight that led to Walkar's murder
The couple got into a fight on May 18 as Walkar wanted to bring household items from their hometown in Maharashtra's Vasai. Poonawalla, while trying to restrain Walker when she started shouting so the neighbors wouldn't hear her, ended up strangulating her. After the murder, Poonawalla also transferred Rs. 54,000 from her bank account to his.
Poonawalla visited Mehrauli forest every night
After Walkar's death, Poonawala used potpourri and room fresheners to mask the corpse's stench and chopped her dead body with a saw. Furthermore, the accused started visiting the Mehrauli forest every night to dispose of her body parts for 18-20 days, one by one. Walkar's skull is yet to be found, including the clothes they wore on the day of the incident.
Poonawalla's lies didn't last long
In May, Walkar's family had filed a missing complaint in Maharashtra. When the police contacted Poonawalla, he claimed he wasn't in touch with her. Later, when police got involved, the accused stated that Walkar left the flat on May 22. However, cops tracked the details of a bank transfer from Walkar's account and also activity on her Instagram.