Joint commissioner of Mumbai police (crime) Himanshu Roy has told media that Pallavi Purkayastha, a 25-year-old legal counsel who was found dead in her flat yesterday, was murdered by her building watchman in a premeditated 'act of perversion'.
Roy said that the watchman, identified as Sajat Ahmed Mugal, had confessed during interrogation, that he had been planning the act for some time, and had been only waiting for an opportune moment. That moment arrived when Sajat realised that Ms Purkayastha's live-in partner had been delayed at work.
According to Roy's reconstruction of events, Ahmed had manipulated the electricity in Ms Purkayastha's apartment on two occasions, forcing her to call in an electrician to rectify the problem. Ahmed had accompanied the electrician to the apartment on both occasions. On the second visit, which had occurred at around 2am, he had managed to steal Ms Purkayastha's key which had been placed on a shelf in the hall.
The watchman had then let himself in to the apartment using the key at around 3am and gone in to the bedroom where she was sleeping. Ms Purkayastha had fought him off, but he had been armed with a knife, and according to the commissioner "grievously harmed her in a manner from which she could not recover".
The commissioner said that the motive for the murder was nothing but "perversion of the highest order", adding that the crime division would seek that the case be tried in a fast track court. He added that they would seek the death sentence for Ahmed, but refused to rule out the possibility that an accomplice was involved. "I do not like this term clean chit. I do not want to give a clean chit to anyone. I just want to catch the fellow responsible for this heinous crime", he said.