Woman lawyer’s murder : Watchman convicted

Mumbai, June 30 :

A Mumbai court Monday found a security watchman guilty of molestation, criminal trespass and murder of a woman lawyer, the daughter of a senior bureaucrat couple, in Mumbai two years ago.

The accused, Sajjad A. Mogal, 23, was working at Himalayan Heights skyscraper in Wadala in south Mumbai where Pallavi Purkayastha (25) lived at the time of the attack Aug 9, 2012.

Purkayastha was killed after she fought off Mogal’s advances in her home and complained to her fiance Avik Sengupta.

Sessions Judge Vrushali Joshi, pronouncing Mogal guilty, said that “a case of murder, molestation and criminal trespass has been proved” against him.

The court will pronounce the quantum of punishment to the convict here Thursday following a request by Special Public Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam.

After painstaking investigations, the police filed a 434-page charge sheet against Mogal in October 2012. During the trial, a total of 43 witnesses were examined.

Mogal refuted all allegations and his lawyer Wahab Khan contended that the victim’s fiance Sengupta had killed her in their flat.

The police investigations revealed that Mogal, hailing from Jammu and Kashmir and posted as a watchman in the building, used to ogle at Pallavi whenever she passed by.

Later, in his statement, Mogal confessed that using a duplicate key, he entered Purkayastha’s flat and attempted to force himself on her.

However, she resisted and started screaming at which he panicked and attacked her with a knife he was carrying, he said in the statement.

Shortly after the ruling, the parents – Atanu Purkayastha, a joint secretary at the Centre when Pallavi was killed, and mother Sunita, who is director-general in the ministry of telecommunications – expressed satisfaction with the police investigations and the verdict.

“Two families have been killed… In the past couple of years, our families (Puryakastha and Senguptas) have undergone lot of trauma… We demand death for him as it will send a positive message to society,” they told media persons.

Avik Sengupta, who was one of the witnesses in the case and had deposed in the trial, died of natural causes in November 2013.


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