Sony Entertainment Television (SET) ran into a controversy after it televised a Crime Patrol episode which had striking resemblance to the Shraddha Walker murder case that shook the nation’s conscience recently. In the televised version, the name of victim and perpetrator were Anna Fernandes and Mihir Kanchwala respectively. Netizens had registered protest and accused the channel of switching religious identities of the victim and perpetrator in such a horrifying crime. In reality, one Aftab Amin Poonawala has been accused of murdering his live-in girlfriend Shraddha Walker.
As soon as the episode aired on SET India’s YouTube page, viewers were quick to notice the uncanny resemblance between the episode on Sony TV’s criminal drama series Crime Patrol and the grisly murder of Shraddha Walkar. The episode resulted in a huge uproar on social media. The makers were chastised for distorting the facts while changing the religious identities of both the victim and accused. In no time, ‘boycott Sony TV’ began trending on Twitter.
Following the outrage, Sony LIV, on January 2, deleted the said episode of the true crime anthology series ‘Crime Patrol’ from the app. On the same day, Sony Liv also issued a statement on Twitter in defence of the episode after it was deleted. It asserted that the occurrence was unrelated to any recent incident and was based on events that occurred in 2011.
“Some viewers are commenting on social media regarding the recent episode of Crime Patrol. Viewers say that this episode bears resemblance to a recent murder case. We want to inform that this episode is based on a fictional story. Its story is inspired by a murder case that took place in 2011. It has nothing to do with any recent case. We take full care that our content is as per broadcasting standards. We fully respect the sentiments of our viewers. We are sorry if any viewers’ sentiments were hurt by this episode. We have removed this episode,” read the Tweet which was posted on January 2.
— Sony LIV (@SonyLIV) January 2, 2023
Though the channel has stepped in to defend and denied any resemblance to the brutal murder of Shraddha Walker, one cannot ignore the fact that the snippets of the show revealed some uncanny similarities between the now-deleted episode and the murder of Shraddha Walker.
Similarities between Shraddha Walker murder case and Crime Petrol 2.0’s ‘Ahmedabad-Pune’ murder case
In the now-deleted episode of ‘Crime Petrol’, it was shown that a boy who was named ‘Mihir’ kills his partner in a fit of rage and then cuts her body into several pieces and wraps it in multiple plastic bags before storing it in the fridge, exactly what happened in Shraddha Walkar’s case. On November 14, reports emerged that a man identified as Aftab Amin Poonawalla allegedly killed his live-in partner, a Hindu woman identified as Shraddha, in May this year. He allegedly chopped her body in 35 pieces, stored them in a newly brought fridge, and disposed of them one piece at a time for several days.
Furthermore, in the Crime Patrol 2.0 episode named ‘Ahmedabad-Pune’ murder case, the accused consumed wine after stacking the dismembered body parts in the fridge. He was also shown receiving a food parcel from a food delivery executive wearing red t-shirt shortly after killing his partner. This was also consistent with what was reported in the Shraddha Walkar murder case. Aftab Amin Poonawalla had also confessed to the police that he drank beer after dismembering his live-in partner’s body and then ordered food from Zomato.
— Gems of Bollywood Fan (@FilmyKhichdii) January 2, 2023
In the episode, one could also see incense sticks lit in the room where the fridge with the chopped body parts was kept. This is also similar to the case of Shraddha Walker. The police who were probing the gruesome murder of Shraddha Walker had confirmed that after brutally dissecting his live-in partner’s body into 35 pieces, the accused Aftab Ameen Poonawala reportedly lit incense sticks in his apartment to counter the foul smell emitted by the dismembered body parts stored in the refrigerator.