SAJJAD MUGHAL, the security guard who murdered corporate lawyer Pallavi Purkayastha and was on the run since March 2016 after jumping parole, was arrested by Mumbai Police from Jammu and Kashmir on Tuesday.
Mughal went missing while he was out on parole from Nashik jail, where he was serving life imprisonment after being convicted in the murder case.
Mughal was arrested from Srinagar by a team led by Inspector Sanjay Nikam of the Mumbai Police Crime Branch.
Mumbai Police Commissioner Datta Padsalgikar said, “After working hard for over a year, battling hostile terrain, a Crime Branch team has achieved the impossible work of tracking down Mughal.” He added, “After the joint commissioner informed me this morning, the first person I called was Pallavi’s father. He had tears in his eyes and told me he was waiting for this moment for the past year.”
The commissioner said Mughal was picked up from a village near Srinagar where he had gone seeking a job. “A team set up to track Mughal had visited the place three to four times. Mughal had been assisted by his friends and others there,” Padsalgikar said. He added that since the offence of escaping parole was registered at Nashik, they would hand over Mughal to the Nashik Police.
A senior official from the prisons department said that Mughul would be sent back to Nashik jail once his Crime Branch custody in the re-arrest case is over.
Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) Sanjay Saxena said, “While Mughal was on the run, he did small jobs and kept moving around. A team led by inspector Nikam kept going to Jammu and Kashmir and developed human intelligence there. One of the sources eventually tipped them off about Mughal.”
Nikam told The Indian Express that he and his teams put on weight, grew beards and wore pherans to blend in with the local crowd. “The biggest problem was that we could not nab Mughal in his native village, Salamabad, near Uri town. After the terrorist attack on the Army base last year, entry had been restricted there. We had to wait for Mughal to move out of his village,” he said.