The father of Shraddha Walker, who was allegedly murdered by her live-in partner, Aftab Poonawala, in an apartment in Mehrauli, New Delhi, and then cut up into 35 pieces to be disposed off in different locations over the next few months, has spoken out on Tuesday regarding the diabolical incident. 

Speaking to ANI, Shraddha’s father, Vikas Walker said, “I suspected a love jihad angle. We demand the death penalty for Aftab. I trust Delhi Police and the probe moving in the right direction. Shraddha was close to her uncle and didn’t talk to me much. I was never in touch with Aftab. I lodged the first complaint in Mumbai’s Vasai.”

The couple had been in a relationship since meeting on a relationship app in 2018. They had moved to Delhi from Mumbai earlier this year after Shraddha’s family made it clear that they don’t support the relationship. 

Also Read | Who was Shraddha Walkar? Woman murdered, cut up into 35 pieces

After Shraddha’s friends told her family that her phone had been switched off for 2.5 months and she was not in touch with any of them, her father and brother approached the Mumbai police in September.

Who is Vikas Walkar?

Shraddha’s mother died two years ago. She is survived by her father and brother. The family said they did not know much about her relationship. Not much is known about Vikas except that he had grown estranged from his daughter after she decided to carry on with her relationship despite her family’s disapproval. 

Vikas and his son accompanied the police to the Mehrauli forest area to look for Shraddha’s body pieces after the accused was arrested and confessed to killing his girlfriend. The family initially thought that their daughter was missing.

Also Read | Who is Aftab Amin Poonawala, man accused of killing girlfriend Shraddha Walker in Delhi?

After his daughter’s murder, he opened up about how the victim had changed following her relationship with the accused. 

“If Aaftab Poonawala has done everything he has claimed during the interrogation, he must be hanged. I think he deserves stringent punishment for killing my daughter and hiding everything for months. I wish we knew what was going on…It was her friends who informed us…(she was) missing,” said Vikas.

“She was a different person before she met Poonawala. She was sweet and ambitious. I don’t know what happened but she changed after she met him. She stopped talking to me and would rarely speak to her mother. I was worried after her mother’s death. I knew she was in a toxic relationship with that boy. I tried stopping her but she wouldn’t listen,” Vikas added.

Also Read | New Zealand ‘suitcase’ murder: Seoul to extradite suspect within 30 days

“We last spoke over the phone in 2021. I don’t even remember the conversation now but she was not happy. She was upset because I didn’t accept them. We don’t have such inter-religion/inter-caste relationships in our family. How could I? I had told her to not leave Mumbai…I met Poonawala once two years ago. It was the time when my wife had died. My daughter was stressed and he was there but we didn’t talk much. I still can’t believe he hid everything for months,” added Vikas.