Delhi Murder Accused Aftab Poonawala To Be Produced Via Video Amid Protests Outside Court

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Aftab Poonawala will be produced before a Delhi court via video link

New Delhi:

Lawyers shouted slogans demanding the death penalty as Aftab Poonawala, the accused in the macabre killing of his girlfriend Sharaddha Walkar in Delhi, was produced before a local court via video conference at 4 pm today.

Police feared he would be attacked, which is why the court permitted using a video link from the jail.

A large group of lawyers were seen outside the courtroom, shouting “hang him, hang him”. In visuals, some are heard shouting “hang the jihadi“, angry over the murder of Shraddha Walkar, whose body he cut up into pieces after the murder in May, kept those in a fridge and dumped the pieces in a jungle over the next 18 days.

The murder case has reignited social media debates on “love jihad”, a term the right-wing uses to accuse Muslim men of luring Hindu women to convert them into Islam. The right-wing cites Shraddha Walkar’s murder case as the latest warning of the alleged trend.

Aftab Poonawala and Shraddha Walkar, who’d met on dating app Bumble, had moved to Delhi only in mid-May this year after living together in their hometown Vasai near Mumbai for at least a year before that.

Shraddha Walkar’s father, Vikas Walkar, who had not been in touch with her for over a year as he opposed the inter-faith relationship, went to the cops around a month ago after her friends said she’d been out of touch with them too. 

He told NDTV yesterday that he could barely bring himself to hear Aftab Poonawala’s confession. “The police asked him, ‘Do you know him’? He said, ‘Yes, he is Shraddha’s father’. Then at once, he started saying Shraddha is no more. I collapsed there. I could not hear any more. Then he was taken away. I was in no condition to hear it,” Vikas Walkar said.

Confession in custody isn’t evidence valid in court, unless the accused corroborates it in front of a judicial officer.

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