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HindustanTimes Sat,30 Aug 2014

Security guard murdered Pallavi Purkayastha: court

HT Correspondent & Agencies, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, June 30, 2014
First Published: 12:06 IST(30/6/2014) | Last Updated: 21:37 IST(30/6/2014)

A sessions court on Monday convicted a security guard in the murder of 25-year-old lawyer Pallavi Purkayastha after a failed rape attempt in her flat at suburban Wadala here in August, 2012.

The court will serve the quantum of punishment on convict Sajjad Ahmed Abdul Aziz Mogul, 22, on July 3.

The law graduate was also working as an advisor to filmmaker Farhan Akhtar's firm Excel Entertainment when she was murdered in the wee hours of August 9, 2012.

Mogul, who was employed as a watchman at the 'Himalayan Heights' building, was found guilty of murder, molestation and criminal trespass.

Convicting Mogul, sessions Judge Vrushali Joshi said, "A case of murder, molestation and criminal trespass has been proved against you." The accused, who stood in silence, nodded.

Pallavi's parents, who were also present in the court, said they are happy with the verdict.

"We are hoping for death penalty," said her father Atanu Purkayastha, an IAS officer who was the joint secretary in the agriculture ministry when the incident took place.

Initially, the needle of suspicion had pointed towards Pallavi's fiancé Avik Sengupta who shared the flat with her.

He had discovered her body lying in a pool of blood.

However, police investigators later zeroed in on Mogul – a native of Jammu and Kashmir -- after questioning many suspects including Sengupta and the convict.

Sengupta, who had deposed before the court, passed away due to illness on November 14 last year.

The Mumbai Police crime branch filed a 434-page chargesheet in the case in October, 2012, stating that Mogul -- who had an eye on Pallavi -- had tripped her flat's electricity meter deliberately.

Watch video: Pallavi Murder Case: Watchman found guilty, sentencing on 3rd July

When she later called an electrician, he accompanied the electrician to Pallavi's residence and stealthily took the house keys.

Later he entered her house using the keys and tried to force himself on her. When she resisted, Mogul stabbed her to death before fleeing.

According to the joint commissioner of police (crime) Himanshu Roy, "Mogul grievously harmed her in a manner from which she could not recover".

He was apprehended before he could escape to his home state.

Mogul had refuted the allegations and his lawyer Wahab Khan had argued that it was Avik Sengupta who killed her in their flat.

"For two years, my and Avik's family have gone through a lot of trauma. I have lost my daughter and would be son-in law," said Pallavi's mother Sumita, director general with the ministry of telecommunication.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/popup/2014/6/PallaviPurkayastha1.jpg


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