Mumbai, 7 July-2014, NDTV: A Mumbai court will today sentence a man found guilty of assaulting, molesting and killing young lawyer Pallavi Purkayastha in her flat in 2012.
Sajjad Ahmad Moghul, 22, the watchman at Pallavi’s apartment building, faces the death penalty or life term after being found guilty by the court last week.
During the hearing on the quantum of sentencing last week, Special Public Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam sought the death penalty for Sajjad.
He told reporters, “The crime was committed in the most ghastly manner possible. Her cut her trachea so that she could not speak, shout or weep. The postmortem shows that she had over 16 injuries. This crime falls into the rarest of rare category and he should be sentenced to death.”
On August 9, 2012, the prosecution had said, Sajjad stole Pallavi’s flat keys, sneaked into her apartment and tried to rape her. When she fought back, he stabbed her repeatedly before slitting her throat.
Bloodstains on the corridor outside the flat and on the neighbours’ doorbell were proof of Pallavi’s struggle to escape and get help before being dragged back in.
“Our daughter died this way. She was everything to us. (Sajjad) deserves nothing less than death,” Pallavi’s mother Sumita Purkayastha told reporters.
The 25-year-old lawyer and national level swimmer was murdered in her 16th floor “Himalayan Heights” apartment in Wadala in central Mumbai. Within 24 hours, the police homed in on the watchman, who had been missing.
The prosecution alleged that Sajjad decided to assault Pallavi after she told him off for staring at her.
The night of the murder, the watchman repeatedly switched off power supply to Pallavi’s flat knowing that she would ask for help.
Pallavi’s fiance Avik Sengupta, who lived with her, found her body lying in blood.
Mr Sengupta, who met and fell in love with Pallavi in law school, died of a brain illness in November last year. “He died of trauma at seeing his beloved die in such a brutal manner,” said Pallavi’s father Atanu Purkayastha, a joint secretary in the Union Agriculture Ministry.
“(Sajjad) devastated two families. For our families, the only closure will be when he gets death,” Mr Purkayastha told NDTV.