New Delhi: The Uttar Pradesh police on Friday, November 25, arrested a man who pretended to be a Muslim and expressed his support to Aftab Amin Poonawalla, the accused in the Shraddha Walkar murder case, NDTV reported.
Shraddha Walker, 27, was brutally killed and her body was chopped into 35 pieces by her live-in partner Aftab Poonawalla in Delhi.
The incident has generated anger, shock and pain, and raised questions about the nature of abusive relationships and the lack of resources women could reach out to to leave the abuser.
The incident has also led to invocation of religious identities with a large section of mainstream media and rightwing Hindutva commentators pointing to the fact that the accused is Muslim and insinuating that this was a crime of ‘love jihad’ – a term coined by Hindutva organisations to grant legitimacy to an imagined conspiracy of Muslim men trapping Hindu women.
While speaking to a reporter in Delhi, Vikas Kumar, a resident of Sikandrabad in Bulandshahr district, had pretended to be Rashid Khan, and justified Aaftab’s actions, saying such things happen in rage. He had also said that not just 35, it could have been 36 pieces as well.
When asked if he could do it too, he had said people do such things in anger, and it’s not a big deal, the NDTV report said.
Vikas Gupta disguised as Rashid Khan to defame Muslims. Where are we headed! 😥😥 https://t.co/MOAmCmAlIQ
— Alishan Jafri (@alishan_jafri) November 25, 2022
“Vikas has a criminal record, with cases registered against him in Bulandshahr and Noida relating to theft and carrying illegal arms,” Bulandshahr senior superintendent of police Shlok Kumar told the news outlet.
After he was arrested, he said he regrets making such comments on the case. He added that had he known it would blow up so much, he wouldn’t have done it. “I fear I will be killed, either here or in prison,” the report cited him as saying.