Mumbai, Aug. 10 (PTI): The security guard detained for the murder of a 25-year-old Pallavi Purakayastha in her central Mumbai home yesterday had sneaked into her apartment using stolen keys and stabbed her to death after the former national-level swimmer fought off his rape attempt, police have revealed.
“It is perversion of the highest order, heinous kind of perversion which deserves nothing but death sentence,” joint commissioner of police (crime) Himanshu Roy said here today, adding Sajjad Ahmed Mughal, 22, has been booked under Section 302 (murder) of the IPC and will be produced in court tomorrow.
Pallavi, a lawyer who worked with filmmaker Farhan Akhtar’s firm Excel Entertainment Pvt. Ltd, had returned to her rented flat on the 16th floor of Himalayan Heights in Vadala at 11 pm on Wednesday to find there was no power, Roy said. She texted Avik Sengupta, a friend who lived with her, and he told her to call an electrician. The electrician came and restored power, but after some time it was gone again.
Pallavi, whose father Atanu Purakayastha is an IAS officer of the Bengal cadre, called the electrician who was this time accompanied by Sajjad.
While Pallavi and the electrician were focused on fixing the problem, the security guard stole the keys to the flat, the police commissioner said.
Power was restored and the lawyer retired to her bedroom after switching off the high-volt appliances, as advised by the electrician.
Sajjad, a native of Uri in Kashmir’s Baramullah district, has confessed that he had “manipulated” the electric meter of the flat located on the ground floor, Roy said.
After entering the flat, he tried to force himself on the victim who put up a stiff resistance. The guard then stabbed her and fled after hiding the knife under a shoe rack on the third floor.
He was caught by the police near Mumbai Central railway station before he could board a train to Jammu and Kashmir, the commissioner said.
Avik, also a lawyer, returned home around 5 in the morning to find the door ajar and Pallavi lying in a pool of blood.
He tried to revive her and then called the neighbours and police, who found no sign of forced entry and were told that the lawyer was by nature a “cautious” woman and would not have forgotten to lock the door.
During interrogation, the police noticed injuries on Sajjad’s hand and he confessed to the crime, Roy said, adding that the police will match the clump of hair found in the victim’s hand with Sajjad’s DNA. He described the murder as a “premeditated kind of an act” and said “apparently he (Sajjad) was planning it for quite some time”.
“We will seek early appointment of a prosecutor and trial by a fast track court, where we will seek death penalty for him,” Roy added.
Roy said the police would examine the role and criminal liability of the security agency.
“In the personal information given to the agency, Mughal has mentioned his residential address as Lal Chowk, Srinagar. This is like somebody showing his address as Flora Fountain or Azad Maidan. This shows callousness by the agency,” he said, adding the four CCTV cameras in the building were not working for some time.