The Inside Story
Mumbai: She had been stabbed with a knife and was bleeding profusely. But Pallavi Purkayastha managed to escape the attacker who was trying to rape her in her flat in Central Mumbai. She rushed outside her door - Apartment 1601 on the 16th floor - and ran up and down the corridor, her blood staining the walls and the floor. There are four other flats on the same storey. The desperate lawyer rang at least two doorbells. Nobody answered.

By now, her pursuer, had caught up with her. He managed to drag her back into the three-bedroom flat she rented for Rs. 35,000 a month. A few hours later, her boyfriend who lived with her returned home and found the 25-year-old dead, her throat slit.

Ms Purkayastha had rented the apartment for 11 months. She was doing well, working with a film production company as its legal advisor, and Himalayan Heights seemed a good place to call home. The building came with extensive security - there are CCTV cameras and intercoms on all floors but on that fateful day, none of the CCTVs or intercom were working.

Woman lawyer murdered in Mumbai highrise: Are we becoming an indifferent society? The police say it was a security guard named Sajjad Ahmad Mughal who had been stalking her for two weeks. On Wednesday night, he knew her boyfriend, Avik Sengupta, was out. He disconnected the power supply to her apartment, and waited for her to call for assistance. At 1 am, he accompanied an electrician to her flat. The problem was solved and the men left. The police claim that Mr Pathan has confessed that 30 minutes later, he once again disconnected her power, and was summoned by her again. Before leaving, he stole her house keys. Minutes later, Sajjad made his way back into the house, entered the bedroom and tried to rape her. A scuffle ensued, Pallavi put up strong resistance but he overpowered her, and stabbed her. (Read: Police describe sequence of events)

"Sajjad then hid the knife under third floor, jumped over the fence and tried to escape. He was picked up near Mumbai Central railway station, attempting to flee. The motive appears to be perversion," said Himanshu Roy, Joint Commissioner, Mumbai Crime Branch.

The police say that the guard was a suspect because he did not show up at work after her body was found. He was reportedly located at the train station.

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