Maha govt orders probe into police 'inaction' on Shraddha's letter requesting intervention

Anguished Shraddha's SOS to cops in 2020. Photo: IANS

Mumbai: Taking strong cognisance, the Maharashtra government has ordered a probe into the Palghar Police's 'inaction' on a letter written by Shraddha Walkar in November 2020, apprehending death threats from her live-in partner Aaftab Amin Poonawala.

Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, who also holds the home portfolio, said he had seen the contents which were "very serious", and said the matter needs to be investigated.

"Without blaming anybody, we need to know the truth... If the police had acted in a timely manner, this (the murder) could have been avoided," Fadnavis told media persons.

On November 23, 2020, Shraddha submitted a written complaint to the Tulinj Police Station expressing apprehensions about Aaftab and how he threatened to "kill and cut her into pieces".

The letter, which has just surfaced, was duly acknowledged by the local police, who also said that though they had probed the matter, Shraddha later gave another letter withdrawing her previous complaint, signalling an end to the issue.

In her hand-penned plea, she sounded distressed, stating that Aaftab was beating her up, blackmailing her and threatening to murder her and cut her body into pieces.

Nearly two years later now, Shraddha's worst fears proved true with Aaftab's arrest on November 12 for her gory killing in Delhi on May 18, chopping her body into many pieces and then disposing of them over several weeks.

In her letter, Shraddha, then 25, mentioned how she and Aaftab, then 26, were living together in Vijay Vihar Complex, but he had been abusing and beating her up for six months.

"Today he tried to kill me by suffocating me and blackmailed me that he will kill me and cut me up into pieces and throw me away.

"He's been beating me for six months. I did not have the guts to go to the police because he would threaten to kill me," she wrote in the letter.

In a shocking revelation, Shraddha said that Aaftab's parents "are aware that he beats me and that he tried to kill me".

"They also know about us living together and they visit us on weekends. We were supposed to get married soon and had the blessings of his family."

Apparently fed up, she declared that "henceforth, I am not willing to live with him, so any kind of physical damage should be considered as inflicted by him”.

A police officer had even gone to the rented house in Vasai East, where the young couple resided, to conduct an inquiry but she categorically told them that said she didn't want to pursue the matter, according to local media.

Since she had already given a letter withdrawing her earlier complaint, the police said they couldn't force her to pursue the case or even forcibly enter her home.

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