Shraddha Walkar, who was allegedly killed by her boyfriend Aftab Poonawala in Delhi in May, had consulted a Mumbai-based doctor last year about her depression and Aftab’s violent behaviour, telling him she feared “he might harm her or himself or both of them”.
“She told me (over a phone call) about her depression, and the anger management and violence issues of her boyfriend,” Dr Pranav Kabra, who runs a multi-speciality hospital in suburban Malad, told news agency PTI.
On that February 2021 phone call, “I told her we do not consult or diagnose first-time patients on the phone, but since there was Covid threat, she said she would not be able to visit,” Dr Kabra said.
“She told me her boyfriend Aftab got very violent even for minor reasons or small fights or misunderstandings, and she was worried that he might harm her or himself or both of them.” She also told him that her boyfriend was “behaving very weirdly of late” and was “always on the phone, chatting on WhatsApp”.
This ties into the timeline of the toxic relationship as, just three months before she called the doctor, she had told friends about a specific assault. Her WhatsApp and Instagram chats from November 2020 show she was once beaten so badly by Aftab that she couldn’t get off the bed and had to be hospitalised, police sources have said.
She’d also shared a photo of her face with injury marks.
The chats are from when they lived together in their hometown Vasai near Mumbai.
Shraddha’s friends have now said she suspected he was cheating on her — one of the reasons for their frequent fights.
The doctor further said, “I suggested she and her boyfriend do yoga and other deep breathing exercises and try to visit me as soon as possible. I also suggested she meet a counsellor and discuss the issue.” But she never met him, he added.
He said that since she had told him their names, when he saw the news about the murder on TV earlier this month, he realised she was possibly the same person.
“Unfortunately, it was too late,” he said.
A WhatsApp chat she had with her work manager three months before that read: “I won’t be able to make it today because from all the beating yesterday my BP is low and my body hurts. I don’t have the energy to get off the bed.” She was in hospital from December 3 to 6, 2020, and went to cops, too, who are learnt to have persuaded her to go back home and settle it.
The couple apparently continued trying to make the relationship work, taking a long holiday early this year before moving to Delhi in May. Four days after they moved into a flat in Mehrauli, they had another fight — it began over household expenses — and Aftab strangled her; cut her body into 35 pieces that he kept in a fridge and dumped over the next 18 days, police have said.
He was arrested earlier this month after Shraddha’s father, who wasn’t in touch with her since last year as he did not approve of her inter-faith (Hindu-Muslim) relationship, went to the cops when her friends told him she wasn’t in touch with them too for months.
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‘My Body Hurts’: Shraddha Walkar SOS That Went Unanswered