The arrest last fortnight of Aftab Poonawala for brutally murdering and dismembering his partner, 27-year-old Shraddha Walkar, has renewed focus on intimate partner violence in India.
The National Crime Records Bureau’s “Crime in India” report for 2021 listed “love affairs” as the motive for murder in 1,566 cases.
In November alone, several cases, with some bearing striking similarities to Walkar’s gruesome murder, have surfaced in many states of India.
These killings were allegedly carried out by spouses or partners. However, these cases have not received as much media attention as the murder allegedly carried out by Poonawala.
On November 21, the Uttar Pradesh Police arrested a man for allegedly killing his former girlfriend and chopping her body into pieces in Azamgarh district. The pieces were dumped in a well and head was thrown into a pond.
The accused man, identified as Prince Yadav, had allegedly killed 22-year-old Aradhana Prajapati after she married someone else. Yadav and Prajapati were in a relationship for two years.
On November 12, a newly-married woman was shot dead in Uttar Pradesh’s Mainpuri district, the police said.
A man named Kuldeep Singh Yadav was arrested in the case. Officials said that he was the woman’s former lover and killed her as he was unhappy about her marriage.
A 35-year-old man in Delhi’s Harsh Vihar allegedly strangulated his wife to death on Sunday, ANI reported.
The police alleged that the man, Yogesh Kumar, killed his wife Archana following an argument. The couple had been facing financial problems and had borrowed money from several persons, officials told the agency.
A 38-year-old woman, Kulwinder Kaur, was shot dead in broad daylight near a bus stand in Punjab’s Bathinda city on November 18, according to the Hindustan Times.
The police arrested a man named Sukhpal Singh in the case. They said that he was the woman’s estranged husband. Authorities also recovered a .32 bore pistol and a bike allegedly used in the crime.
“Sukhpal and Kulwinder had a family dispute,” Inspector General of Police SPS Parmar said. “In our preliminary investigation, we also found that Sukhpal had 13 criminal cases registered against him in Punjab and Haryana.”
A 22-year-old woman, Shweta Ranawade, died in Pune after she was allegedly attacked with a sharp weapon on November 16, The Indian Express reported.
The police have alleged that a 26-year-old man named Pratik Dhamale, who had been harassing Ranawade after their wedding was called off, is involved in the murder.
A preliminary inquiry showed that the woman’s family had filed a police complaint about the alleged harassment, but authorities did not take cognisance. A sub-inspector and two other officials have been transferred pending an inquiry into the case, according to the newspaper.
Meanwhile, in Aurangabad, the police said that a PhD student set himself on fire and tried to kill his girlfriend by hugging her, The Times of India reported.
The man is named 30-year-old Gajanan Munde, while the woman has been identified as 28-year-old Pooja Salve. Both of them are reportedly in a critical condition. Munde has suffered 90% burns, while the woman has suffered 55% burns.
The police said that according to a preliminary inquiry, Munde was unhappy with Salve as she rejected his marriage proposal.
On November 5, a man allegedly killed his wife in Chennai’s Chengalpet area, The Times of India reported. The man, Ranjith Kumar, was allegedly angry with his wife Sudhamathi as she was chatting with a friend on the phone.
The police said that they took Kumar in custody when he was attempting to hurriedly bury his wife’s body. The man had reportedly called up her relatives and told them that she was electrocuted while ironing clothes, and that he was burying the body immediately as it was decomposing.
The woman’s relatives became suspicious and informed the police about it, after which Kumar was arrested.