Pallavi Purkayastha murder: Absconding convicted killer nabbed from J&K

The Mumbai police on Tuesday said it had traced and nabbed the killer of a prominent Mumbai lawyer.

Mumbai: In a major breakthrough, the Mumbai police on Tuesday said it had traced and nabbed the killer of a prominent Mumbai lawyer who was convicted and jailed but later jumped parole, from a remote hideout in Jammu & Kashmir.

The convict was identified as Sajjad Ahmed Abdulaziz Moghal alias Pathan, who was sentenced to life imprisonment for the killing of a young lawyer, Pallavi Purkayastha, at her home in Wadala on August 9, 2012.

Police Commissioner Datta Padsalgikar told media persons late on Tuesday evening that the investigators notched success after painstaking investigations and human intelligence to arrest the absconder-convict after more than a year.

Detailing the case, he said that Moghal had been nabbed hours after he killed Purkayastha - the 25-year old daughter of a top bureaucrat couple, both IAS officers working with the centre - at her rented home in Himalayan Heights apartments, in Wadala in central Mumbai.

"The killing had sent shivers down the spines of Mumbaikars and the police had swung into action and arrested him as he was trying to flee to Jammu & Kashmir," Padsalgikar said.

In July 2014, a trial court found him guilty of the murder and sentenced him to life imprisonment even as he appealed against the verdict and the prosecution sought a death penalty in the Bombay High Court.

While the appeals were pending, he was lodged in Nashik Central Jail from where he applied for parole of 30 days which was granted in February 2016.

"However, he jumped parole and did not return even after the 30-day period was over. The Nashik police registered a case against Moghal and started investigations to trace him out," said Padsalgikar.

Since the case was originally handled by the Mumbai Police, Padsalgikar ordered the Crime Branch to set up its own team to trace down Moghul and finally zeroed in on him.

Purkayastha, who was the legal advisor with Bollywood actor-director Farhan Akhtar`s firm Excel Entertainment, was found lying in a pool of blood by her fiance, Avik Sengupta at her rented flat. Sengupta himself died of a brain disease a few months after the incident.

Incidentally, after Moghal jumped parole, the state government decided in August 2016 not to grant parole to anybody convicted for serious offences like murder, terror, rape or kidnapping, child trafficking, narcotics smuggling, etc.

Later, the government amended the jail manual to implement a new set of rules for the state prisons especially pertaining to paroles/furloughs.

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