Pallavi Purkayastha

Krishna Pujari

25-year-old lawyer and a national level swimmer Pallavi Purkayastha’s murder case Sessions court, Mumbai has found to the watchman Sajjad Ahmed Pathan (22) guilty. He may face a life term or the death sentence as he was found guilty of assaulting, molesting and killing her.

Speaking to reporters outside the court, Pallavi’s family demanded death for Pathan. “He should get nothing less than death,” said Pallavi’s father Atanu Purkayashta, a joint secretary in the Union Agriculture Ministry.

The Crime Branch had filed a 434-page charge sheet on October 30, 2012 against Pathan charging him with trespass and murder. Prosecution has examined 40 witnesses while the defence examined three in the case. Avik Sengupta, boyfriend of Pallavi and main witness in matter, died of an illness in November last year.

The court adjourned the hearing in the case till July 3.

Pallavi was murdered on August 9, 2012 in her 16th floor “Himalayan Heights” apartment in Wadala in central Mumbai.

Sajjad was watchman in same building. Police arrested him within 24 hours before he could escape to his hometown in Jammu and Kashmir.

According to police, on August 9, Sajjad repeatedly switched off power supply to Pallavi’s flat, knowing that she would ask for help. When she did, he arrived with an electrician and stole her flat keys. Later, he allegedly tried to rape her but she fought back fiercely. He then allegedly killed her with a knife and ran away.

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