Mumbai, Aug 10 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, a police official said here Friday, a day after the killing.
Speaking to media persons, Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) Himanshu Roy said that Purkayastha, who was found dead in her flat early Thursday, was murdered by the watchman of her building and that it was a "premeditated act of perversion".
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.
Roy said that the watchman, identified as Sajjad Ahmed Mugal, during interrogation confessed to having planned the murder.
Mugal confessed that he was waiting for the right moment to put his plan in action and he got the opportunity Wednesday night, when Purkayastha's boyfriend and live-in partner Avik Sengupta did not come home till late in the night.
Purkayastha stayed with Sengupta, also a lawyer, who found her murdered early Thursday.
Puryakastha, the daughter of Delhi-based Indian Administrative Service (IAS) official Atanu Puryakastha, had had a tiff with Mugal over an issue in the society and rebuked him. In the early hours of Thursday, he slit her throat to seek revenge for his humiliation.
"Mugal had tampered with the electric supply in Purkayastha's apartment twice and had accompanied the electrician to the apartment on both occasions. He managed to steal her house keys from the shelf during the second time," said Roy while describing the sequence of events, based on their reconstruction.
The watchman had then let himself into the apartment using the key at around 3 a.m. and gone into the bedroom where she was sleeping.
"Purkayastha struggled to fight him, but he had a knife, with which he grievously harmed her in a manner from which she could not recover," Roy said.
Roy added 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.
Police have also recovered the weapon, a kitchen knife, from Mugal.
Roy, however, refused to comment if Purkayastha was molested or raped. "Let us respect the privacy of a dead person. I shall not comment about this," he told reporters.