Balyan associated Shehzad’s name with Aaftab and questioned whether the two were related as they shared the same surname of Poonawalla/ Poonawala.
In a tweet in Hindi, Balyan, AAP’s Delhi spokesperson, said, “What is the relationship between Aftab Poonawala, who killed Shraddha Walkar and cut her into 35 pieces, and BJP leader Shehzad Poonawalla? People are raising their voice on social media. People want to know if there is no relationship then why is @Shehzad_Ind running away? He should clarify in the media.”
श्रध्दा वाकर की हत्या कर उसे 35 टुकड़े में काटने वाला आफताब पूनावाला और भाजपा नेता शहजाद पूनावाला में क्या रिश्ता… https://t.co/3aLRCIqv86
— Naresh Balyan (@AAPNareshBalyan) 1668487143000
A respondent tagged Shehzad’s brother Tehseen Poonawalla and asked him to clarify. Terming Balyan’s allegations as an “extremely unfortunate tweet”, Tehseen advised Shehzad to take legal action in the matter.
@vaibhav330 @AAPNareshBalyan @Shehzad_Ind My advise: Shehzad should take legal action. Extremely unfortunate tweet
— Tehseen Poonawalla Official 🇮🇳 (@tehseenp) 1668502560000
Subsequently, Shehzad posted a couple of tweets to inform that he had initiated criminal and civil proceedings against Balyan.
The BJP spokesperson said, “My lawyer @namitsaxena2007 ji has initiated CRIMINAL & CIVIL proceedings against Naresh Balyan for his unsubstantiated, reckless & defamatory statements. I will be taking further legal actions against anyone amplifying this lie & also other steps soon – copy of notice below.”
My lawyer @namitsaxena2007 ji has initiated CRIMINAL & CIVIL proceedings against Naresh Balyan for his unsubstantia… https://t.co/yfzZ6RPJ7f
— Shehzad Jai Hind (@Shehzad_Ind) 1668493762000
However, Shehzad’s action did not have any impact on Balyan. Tagging the BJP leader in another tweet, he accused him of coming out in support of the murderer Aaftab.
Balyan said, “BJP leader Shehzad Poonawalla comes out in support of Aaftab Poonawala, the murderer of daughter Shraddha. He is threatening me with legal action for raising my voice for Shraddha. Listen Shehzad Chunawla, I am not afraid of this case of yours. I raised the voice of the people. I will raise my voice for the justice of daughter Shraddha.”
बिटिया श्रद्धा के हत्यारे आफताब पूनावाला के समर्थन में उतरा भाजपा नेता शहजाद पूनावाला, श्रद्धा के लिए आवाज उठाने पर… https://t.co/PKO6uNdXr6
— Naresh Balyan (@AAPNareshBalyan) 1668504241000
Aaftab is in police custody for allegedly killing Shradhha in Delhi and cutting her body into 35 pieces in May. The two were staying in a Delhi flat as live-in partners. He is accused of stuffing the victim’s body parts in a refrigerator and throwing them for 18 days past midnight in a forest area.