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Mumbai Lawyer Pallavi Purkayastha's Killer, Who Jumped Parole, Arrested


Mumbai: Mumbai lawyer Pallavi Purkayastha's killer Sajjad Mughal, who had jumped parole last year, was arrested on Tuesday morning from a location around 50 km from Srinagar, after an 18-month chase. Sajjad Mughal was sentenced to life in jail in 2014 for the killing of 25-year-old Pallavi in her 16th floor apartment in central Mumbai. Last year, he left a jail in Nasik on parole, ostensibly to visit his unwell mother. He never returned. For the police it was a tough challenge as initially they suspected he had slipped across the border into Pakistan. But nevertheless a special team was formed which was sent to Kashmir to try and find him.

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Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) Sanjay Saxena told reporters, "We worked on this case for a year. We went there and developed local contacts. On the basis of that this operation achieved success." The Mumbai Police team had to start from scratch and the situation in Jammu and Kashmir kept them on their toes. They even changed their appearance to maintain a cover and fit in with the local crowd. "We had changed our look from the first day. We went there four times and we got success only on the fourth trip. When we caught him he froze because it was not a place where someone could catch him. He said 'I knew the crime Branch would catch me'," police inspector Sanjay Nikam, the man who led the investigation team, said. Pallavi, the daughter of a Delhi-based IAS officer, was alone at home and sleeping on August 9, 2012, when Mughal, a watchman, sneaked in using a stolen key. He had repeatedly switched off power supply to the flat earlier and had stolen the keys when she called for help.

Mughal tried to rape her and when she fought back, he stabbed her repeatedly before slitting her throat.

A trail of blood on the corridor outside her flat and on her neighbours' doorbell was evidence that she tried to escape and get help.

The champion swimmer was found lying in her blood by her live-in partner Avik Sengupta, who later died of a brain disorder.

Mughal was arrested the next day from the railway station.

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The Mumbai police had described the crime as "perversion of the highest order"; Pallavi's family had called for the death sentence.

Which is why, questions were raised by Pallavi's family as well as activists when he was granted parole.

After his escape, Maharashtra's Devendra Fadnavis government decided that rapists and murderers would no longer be granted parole. The number of days of parole was also reduced from 90 to 46 days.

The jail officer who recommended parole for Mughal was suspended.

Mughal was last spotted on June 17 at his village Salamabad in Kashmir's Uri district.

Scroll down and watch how Mughal was arrested by police

Culled from NDTV

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