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‘Devastated’, Says Dating App Bumble After Shraddha Walkar’s Murder; Ready to ‘Remain Available’ to Police

By: News Desk

Edited By: Oindrila Mukherjee

News18.com

Last Updated: November 16, 2022, 21:19 IST

New Delhi, India

Aaftab Poonawala met Shraddha Walkar were living together for a year in Mumbai before moving to Delhi. (Image: @Shraddha/Instagram)

Aaftab Poonawala met Shraddha Walkar were living together for a year in Mumbai before moving to Delhi. (Image: @Shraddha/Instagram)

Aaftab Poonawala and Shraddha Walkar had met on dating app Bumble and been in a relationship since 2018, as per reports

Dating app Bumble on Wednesday said it was “devastated” to hear about the murder of Shraddha Walkar, allegedly by her live-in partner Aaftab Poonawala. The 28-year-old accused and the victim had met on the dating platform and been in a relationship since 2018, as per reports.

According to a report published by NDTV, Bumble said it was “devastated to hear about this unspeakable crime” and will “remain available” for police whenever needed. The Delhi Police team, which is investigating the case, has said it will also be approaching the dating app through which Walkar and Poonawala met.

Police said the couple had just moved into a flat in Mehrauli on May 14, four days before the crime took place on May 18. Both worked at a call centre and were living together for the past year, first in Mumbai. Since Walkar’s parents did not approve of their inter-faith relationship, the couple moved to Delhi and were living in a hotel for a week before moving into the rented accommodation.

“Everyone at Bumble is devastated to hear about this unspeakable crime, and our hearts are with Shraddha Walker’s family and loved ones," a Bumble spokesperson was quoted as saying, adding, “We will continue to follow closely and remain available to law enforcement should they request our support. The safety and wellbeing of our members is our top priority and we have a dedicated global team serving their needs."

The report mentioned that police wanted to get in touch with Bumble, mainly to get more details of Poonawala’s profile on the dating app. The call centre employee apparently told police that he some 20 days after he killed Walkar, he started dating another woman that he had met on the app. He continued to invite other women into his home, while Walkar’s body parts were still stored in the refrigerator.

The duo would often get into heated arguments about being unfaithful to each other. According to reports, it was a major bone of contention and Walkar would often accuse Poonawala on cheating on her.

Bumble has long been a popular dating app and works purely on a female profile allowing others to view it. In this, it is different from Tinder where you have access to a person’s profile as soon as you swipe right.

Delhi Police will present Poonawala in Saket court on Thursday, and file an application from the court to seek his remand. A police team also visited Poonawala’s residence in Chhatarpur Pahadi on Wednesday.

Poonawala allegedly strangled Walkar in a fit of rage after an argument over household affairs on May 18. According to police, he then proceeded to chop up her body into 35 pieces, once he had bought a knife and new refrigerator the day after. Three weeks later, he started the process of disposing of the body parts in the forest area close to the house and other locations in the national capital, police added.

Police said they had sought to conduct Poonawala’s narco test, but were yet to get permission from the court. Officials said they had recovered 13 body parts, believed to be of the woman, from different areas that will be sent for DNA analysis.

The incident came to light only after the Walkar family lodged a missing complaint about Shraddha in Manikpur police station near Mumbai, which then contacted Poonawala and called him in for questioning twice – once last month and then on November 3. Soon, contradictory statements by the accused about his partner’s bank account and social media activity led to the killing and his arrest on November 12.

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first published:November 16, 2022, 21:10 IST
last updated:November 16, 2022, 21:19 IST
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