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Pallavi Purakayastha's Parents Await Capture of Killer Who Jumped Parole

Five years since then, Pallavi’s parents still wait for justice as the accused, Sajjad Mogul, jumped parole after being arrested and charged with murder and assault.

Anubha Bhonsle | CNN-News18anubhabhonsle

Updated:August 10, 2017, 10:16 AM IST
New Delhi: Five years ago on August 9, 2012, a call from Mumbai in the wee hours of an otherwise usual day, brought life to a standstill for the Purakayastha’s in Kolkata. The call was to inform the family about the brutal murder of their daughter Pallavi, a 25-year-old lawyer based in Mumbai. The call was from her fiancé Avik Sengupta, who died soon after. Grief is corrosive.

Five years since then, Pallavi’s parents still wait for justice as the accused, Sajjad Mogul, jumped parole after being arrested and charged with murder and assault among others. The hope is justice can ebb away some of the pain for her parents Atanu and Sumita.

When Mumbai police arrested Sajjad, he was outside the Mumbai Central Railway station, about to board a train. In the trial before the Mumbai Sessions Court, he pleaded not guilty even as murder charges were proved against him.

Section 302 (Murder), Section 354 (Assault) or any of the other charges do not come close to circumscribing the horror of that night. The convict, Sajjad, employed as a security guard in the housing complex where Pallavi and Avik lived had the sinister intention of assaulting Pallavi since a long time.

He had discussed the same with his friends. On the fateful day, Sajjad came to Pallavi’s apartment post-midnight, armed with a knife and determined to commit the crime. He had stolen the keys when he accompanied an electrician earlier in the evening when he had cut off electricity supply in the apartment.

Pallavi fought hard to save her life, despite Sajjad having stabbed her 16 times, even slitting her throat. Bloodstains on the 16th floor of the building narrated a tale of how Pallavi made desperate attempts to get help, while she was being savagely attacked.

In the judgment which the parents Atanu and Sumita have called, “obnoxious”, the judge while disagreeing with the demand for death penalty, wrote, “when the accused saw Pallavi in scanty clothes, he was sexually excited… therefore aggravating fact of pre-planning is not there”. The reasoning cited by the judge that the convict was consumed by lust as he saw her, has been just one of the many ways in which the system failed Pallavi and her parents.

“How should a girl dress in the confines of her bedroom, in the sultry weather of Bombay summers”, Atanu Purakasytha has asked repeatedly.

Misogyny was written all over, both in the court room and the judgement, even as the appeal was pending against Sajjad Mogul, he was granted parole from the Nashik jail.

He left the confines of the jail without any police protection and never returned. The Jammu and Kashmir Police in Baramullah, Sajjad’s hometown, was never informed about his parole. The Nashik Jail authorities never asked the Mumbai Police, whether the parole should be accepted or not.

It’s been more than a year, since Sajjad, convicted of brutal assault and murder of Pallavi Purakayastha walked away, like a free man. And no one has a clue of his whereabouts.

| Edited by: Sanchari Chatterjee
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