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Watchman confesses to murdering 25-year-old lawyer

The watchman of an apartment block in central Mumbai has confessed to murdering 25-year-old lawyer Pallavi Purkayastha by slitting her throat because she had rebuked him, police sources said Friday, a day after the killing.

Sayyuz Pathan, the guard, would be produced in court Friday, an officer said.

Pallavi, the daughter of Delhi-based Indian Administrative Service (IAS) official Atanu Puryakastha, was found in a pool of her own blood in her apartment on the 16th floor of Himalayan Heights building by her live-in partner Avik Sengupta (26), also a lawyer by profession.

According to P R Yadav, Inspector of Wadala police station, Crime Branch officials from Unit IV arrested Sayyuz Pathan from Mumbai Central station as he was trying to flee to Kashmir to his hometown.

Pallavi
Pallavi Purkayastha, who was found dead by her live-in partner Avik Sengupta.

“The authorities had called in all the watchmen of the society. When Pathan didn’t show up for questioning, it raised doubts and cops went to his home where they found that he had left for Mumbai Central station. That is when we reached there and arrested him,” said a senior officer on the condition of anonymity.

Officials believe that Pathan gained access into Pallavi’s home by pretending to be an electrician. “He said he was the electrician and got entry into the home. He then tried to rape her. A scuffle broke out and he stabbed her multiple times and also slit her throat.”

Officials added that Pallavi had lodged a complaint to the society following which Pathan was demoted from his post of security supervisor. The cops suspect the motive behind the gruesome murder was revenge.

According to police, the murder was committed around 1.30 a.m. after two electricians, who had come to restore power at Purkayastha's apartment that had gone off at around 12.30 a.m., left the place. 

Sources also say that Pathan had tampered with the power supply of her apartment so that he could take advantage of the dark.

She was found with her throat slit and had multiple injuries on her face, hands and eyes, police said. A post-mortem of her body was carried out and her parents, who had come down from Delhi have been handed over her body, police said.

"The boyfriend is also being questioned," an official said, adding that they needed to corroborate and authenticate the events of what had happened.

Police will make an official statement regarding the killer and the events that led to the murder.

Sources claimed that Pathan molested Purkayastha and attempted to rape her. However, police officers refused to confirm or deny this.

While reconstructing the crime, police also found that Purkayastha struggled against her murderer and tried to seek help of neighbours.

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