walkar: Shraddha Walkar suspected her live-in partner of cheating, claims social activist


A social activist, with whom call centre employee Shraddha Walkar had participated in a Mumbai beach clean-up drive, has claimed the deceased suspected her live-in partner Aaftab Poonawala of cheating on her and appeared quiet and aloof during the cleanliness campaigns. Walkar also had financial problems and she and Poonawala used to have frequent fights, said activist Shreha Dhargalkar who runs an NGO.

The activist also claimed Walkar (27) wanted to have a small family and a child. “That was her dream,” she added.

Poonawala (28) allegedly strangled Walkar in May this year and sawed her body into 35 pieces which he kept in a 300-litre fridge for almost three weeks at his residence in south Delhi’s Mehrauli before dumping them across the national capital over several days past midnight.

The Delhi Police, who have arrested Poonawala, on Tuesday took him to the forest area in south Delhi’s Chhatarpur and spent nearly three hours to locate specific places where he had allegedly dumped her body parts.

Activist Dhargalkar had organised clean-up drives at Mumbai’s Juhu, Versova, Madh and Aksa beaches along with Marathi actor Madhuri Sangita Patil last year.

Dhargalkar said Walkar, who had participated in the cleanliness drive, did not want to leave her call centre job at Malad in Mumbai.

However, her boyfriend Poonawala forced her or prevailed upon her to do so saying they should go far away from Mumbai and Vasai, where Walkar’s family resided, as he feared her parents could approach police against him, the activist said.

“Walkar was worried about several things. When I asked her why she was aloof and not mixing up with the rest of the group, she said she was tense and worried,” Dhargalkar claimed.

“She told me that she was having financial problems. She did not mention her live-in relationship, but said her boyfriend wanted her to leave Mumbai and Maharashtra,” she said.

“Due to their fights and misunderstandings as well as Walkar’s suspicion that Poonawala was cheating on her, she could not concentrate properly on her work. Their relationship was in a constant state of turmoil and there were times when the couple had no money,” the activist claimed.

Dhargalkar also said Walkar had asked her if there was an opportunity for a part-time or work-from-home job with her NGO, so that she could earn some extra money.

She said Walkar loved Mumbai and wanted to do something for the city, particularly to make it clean.

“She was hardworking, but did not mix up with others or talk to them much. She only spoke when she was spoken to or asked any questions. She was reserved and mostly kept to herself. She did not share anything about her family or personal life,” Dhargalkar said.


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