Sajjad Mogul, arrested by the crime branch from Jammu and Kashmir yesterday, nearly 18 months after he jumped parole from Nashik jail, told investigators that he had plans to return to Mumbai in June. However, he dropped the idea after security was upped post the death of 1993 bomb blast convict Mustafa Dossa at Arthur Road Jail. Mogul was serving life term for murdering Pallavi Purkaystha.

Crime branch along with arrested accused Sajjad Mogul. Pic/ Suresh Karkera
Crime branch along with arrested accused Sajjad Mogul. Pic/ Suresh Karkera

According to sources, Mogul wanted to commit big robberies at residential societies in Mumbai, and hoped to escape with all the loot to his hometown Uri in Baramulla district of Kashmir.

'I was framed'
Mogul was convicted by the sessions court in June 2014, for killing Purkaystha on August 9, 2012. He was a security guard at Himalayan Heights, Wadala, where Purkaystha lived. He had broken into her Wadala apartment and attempted to rape her. When she resisted, he slit her throat with a knife.

While serving sentence in jail, Mogul was granted 30 days parole in February 2016, after he claimed that his mother was unwell. His family in Kashmir, however, said that he had never reached home. Mogul was supposed to return to jail on March 23, but he jumped parole.

Also Read: Pallavi Purkayastha murder: Convict who jumped parole arrested

Crime branch sources said that Mogul told villagers in Salamabad, Uri, that the police were under pressure to solve the lawyer's murder case and hence, framed him because he was "poor, uneducated and unemployed". The lie helped Mogul gain the villagers' sympathy, making it difficult for the police to nab the accused despite making four trips to his hometown.

In fact, the Mumbai police's efforts to arrest Mogul were foiled twice after villagers alerted Mogul of their presence. The police team had no other choice, but to wait for him to leave the village. Here, too, they faced several roadblocks as Mogul's mother, who was in the know of the police's plan, had advised her son against leaving the village.

Convincing villagers
Around a month ago, Mumbai crime branch sleuths disguised themselves as locals, and started developing a network of informants in and around the village, to gather information on Mogul.

During enquiries, the police learnt that Mogul was going to leave for Srinagar, around 90 km from his village, to work as a labourer at a construction site Last week, officials received specific information on this, after which a police team flew down to J&K.

Mumbai Crime branch officials spent five days in Srinagar, before they finally managed to nab Mogul at 12 pm, yesterday.

During the 18 month-long hunt, the crime branch learned that Mogul had also lied to his fellow inmates in Nashik jail and told them that Purkaystha was his girlfriend. After jumping parole, Mogul returned to Mumbai and worked as helper in an industrial estate in Andheri. During his stay in Mumbai, he met his two friends in Colaba and also spoke to his mother from a PCO near Sassoon Dock.

Deceased Pallavi Purkayastha

Since the police were keeping a tab on every call made to Mogul's mother, they learnt that he had called her from South Mumbai. The police tracked down the PCO and also managed to trace the two friends.

"One of the friends, who was also lodged in Nashik jail in a murder case, told crime branch officials that Mogul had claimed Purkaystha was his girlfriend. He told his friend that he killed her because she would fight with him over money," said a crime branch source.

Mogul will now be sent to Nashik jail to continue his sentence. The police will file a chargesheet against him for jumping parole.