Soon after reports elaborating on the details of the gruesome Shraddha Walkar murder case surfaced, netizens took to social media to express their shock and outrage on the spine chilling details of the case.
The murder though, has triggered discussions on several points online, including the safety of live-in relationships and ‘love jihad’. Many users alleged that Shraddha Walkar was a victim of ‘love Jihad’. Users also shared reports claiming that all of Aaftab ’s previous relationships were with Hindu women.
Meanwhile, several others tried to counter the narrative, claiming that the accused belonged to Parsi community and was not Muslim at all. The discussion on Poonawala’s religion broadened as time went, with many even calling him a Hindu, and even a Sindhi.
Here are some posts that alleged that Aaftab Poonawala was a Parsi/Sindhi/Hindu.
Newschecker found that the posts alleging that Aaftab Poonawala is a Hindu/Parsi/Sindhi, are not true.
We began our investigation by looking up details on Aaftab Poonawala on Google. This led us to multiple reports from the past few days that detailed on Poonawala’s whereabouts along with the timeline of his relationship with Walkar.
One such report by Times Of India, dated November 16, 2022, identified Poonawala as a food blogger by profession, adding that he “runs a food blog on Instagram by the name HungryChokro.”
Taking a clue, we conducted a search for “HungryChokra” on Instagram which yielded Poonawala’s account with user ‘hungrychokro_escapades.’ The account featured over 600 posts, a majority of which were photographs of food items and beverages. We were not able to spot any personal information about Poonawala from this account.
Following this, we looked at Walkar’s Instagram account which goes by the username ‘thatshortrebel.’ On scrolling through her feed, we spotted a post featuring Walkar and Poonawala, dated February 14, 2022. The account of one ‘thehungrychokra’ was tagged in the post.
On looking up the account of ‘thehungrychokro,’ we could conclude that it was the personal profile of Poonawala, unlike “HungryChokra ” which was focussed on food and beverages. This account has merely 52 posts. We skimmed through various pictures posted by the accused in an attempt to find any personal information about him, and spotted a conversation between him and user @zloymom in the comment section of a post dated April 5, 2014. Replying to @zloymom, Poonawala wrote, “I am a Muslim and the other term you’re is Hindu. Lord Krishna is the God of Hindus. May I ask why the certain inquisitiveness about my religion???”
Further, we looked up “Aaftab Poonawala,” & “Muslim” on Google which yielded a report by Bhaskar, dated November 18, 2022 and Navbharat Times, dated November 16, 2022. Both reports confirmed that Poonawala belongs to the Khoja section of Muslim community, while elaborating on the origin of this section
We also came across a report by TV9 Hindi, carrying a photograph of the FIR filled in the Walkar murder case, specifying that her father was against her relationship with Poonawala because he was a Muslim.
Journalist Abhijit Majumder also shared the copy of the FIR.
Newschecker is trying to reach concerned police officers for their statement on the same. The article will be updated on receiving a response from them.
We could thus conclude that the accused in brutal Shraddha Walkar murder case, Aaftab Amin Poonawala belongs to the Muslim community, and not Hindu or Prasi communities as widely claimed.
Instagram Post By @thehungrychokro, Dated April 5, 2014
Report By Bhaskar, Dated November 18, 2022
Report By Navbharat Times, Dated November 16, 2022
Report By TV9 Hindi, Dated November 15, 2022
Tweet By Abhijit Majumder, Dated November 14, 2022
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