Mumbai: Pallavi Purkayastha's killer used Kashmir unrest as excuse to secure job
Mumbai agency that hired Pallavi Purkayastha's killer says he didn’t furnish identity proof claiming he lost his luggage; couldn’t reach family due to network failure
Sajjad Mogul, who jumped parole from Nashik jail after he was convicted for the murder of city lawyer Pallavi Purkayastha, had not just spun a web of lies among family and friends to evade re-arrest, but had also hoodwinked his employer in Mumbai to secure a job under a fake identity as a watchman last year.
Accused Sajjad Mogul after his arrest
According to United Guard Service (UGS), the security company that had hired Mogul, each time the accused was asked to furnish identity documents -- mandatory for completion of hiring procedure -- he would tell his employer that the Internet and network services in his hometown Uri were down due to the conflict in Kashmir, and that he needed more time. Further, contrary to Mogul's statement to the crime branch that he worked as watchman at an Andheri residential society, UGS claimed he had been deployed at an under-construction site.
Bashir Mohammad, Mogul's supervisor
Web of lies
mid-day traced Bashir Mohammad, Mogul's supervisor during his brief service at UGS, who revealed that the accused spun lie after lie, to secure the job. “He had approached one of the watchmen of the company, saying that he was in urgent need of a job. When the watchman brought him to me, he introduced himself as Imran Ayub Shaikh from Kashmir. At first, he tried to speak to me in his native language, but when I told him that I didn't understand it, he spoke in Hindi,” recalled Mohammad. “He told me that he had arrived in Mumbai for a job, but someone had stolen his luggage on the train. He said that he had not eaten in two days, and was desperately in need of a job. When I told him that his documents were mandatory, he said that he'd ask him family to send it as soon as possible,” he added.
Pallavi Purkayastha, who was murdered at her Wadala flat in 2012
The supervisor said that he deputed him at an under-construction site near Andheri railway station. “During the few days that he worked there, he spoke very little with other staff. He was often seen reading newspapers,” he said. When Mohammad insisted on the documents, Mogul told him that due to the unrest in Kashmir there was no network in his hometown, and hence, he couldn't get in touch with his relatives. Mogul worked with UGS for 15 days before he suddenly vanished, said Mohammad.
UGS owner Noor Chowdhary said, “We have several employees working with the company and we do not hire anyone until his documents are submitted and records are maintained. In Mogul's case, we made an exception because he claimed that his belongings were stolen in the train. However, we kept pushing him to submit his documents and also warned him.”
'Wasn't at our society'
In his confession to the crime branch, Mogul had said that he had worked at Sagar City Complex's Atlantic building in Andheri West. However, UGS denied deploying him at the residential society. The society's secretary corroborated the company's claim. “When we read reports about Mogul working as watchman in our building, we immediately checked all the previous records and tried to identify if he had been deployed here. But, as far as we remember, he never worked here,” said Ilyas Ahmad, the secretary of the building.