The police are now looking for taxi drivers who had parked their vehicles outside the housing society of 25-year-old lawyer, Pallavi Purkhayastha, as they might have heard her screams for help before she was murdered on Thursday.
Sources said Purkhayastha had run to the window and tried to raise an alarm when she was being attacked by accused, Sajjad Moghul, before he pulled her by the hair and slit her throat.
“We are questioning a few people to ascertain the identities of these taxi drivers. Their statements will make for strong evidence,” said a police official.
While reconstructing the events of the night when Purkhayastha was allegedly murdered by Moghul, her building’s watchman, police sources said that she had almost overpowered her attacker at her Wadala residence. The victim however, loosened her grip when Moghul pulled out a knife and started stabbing her indiscriminately.
According to sources in the Mumbai crime branch, during the fight, Pallavi could not hold on for long as the accused watchman had stabbed her at least thrice on her face and many times on her chest, head and neck.
“When he tried to force himself on her and realised she was resisting him, he started stabbing her. She first made for the bathroom, but realising that she could not lock herself in there, she pushed him again, ran to the window and began screaming for help,” said the source.
The police said that Moghul had acquired the knife from a local shop, but intention, however, had not been to kill her. An official claimed that Moghul had told them that he thought Purkhayastha was interested in him after she had spoken to him four times that night regarding electricity problems in her flat.
“As Moghul had never spoken to a girl in the city before, he assumed she was interested in him. This misconception landed him at her house,” the official said.