Sajjad Mughal, the security guard, convicted for the murder of 25-year-old advocate Pallavi Purkayastha in 2012, and was on the run since March 2016 after jumping parole. He was arrested by Mumbai Police Crime Branch on Tuesday near Srinagar.
Sajjad Mughal was sentenced to life in jail in 2014 for the killing of 25-year-old Pallavi in her 16th floor apartment in central Mumbai.
Last year, he left a jail in Nasik on parole, ostensibly to visit his unwell mother. He never returned.
The police first suspected he had slipped across the border into Pakistan. However, a special team led by Inspector Sanjay Nikam was formed to travel to his hometown in Kashmir. They wore Kashmiri attire phiran and skull cap, and sported beard to mingle with locals in the terrain. In order to look like a Muslim tourist, Nikam had to pierce his ears and pick up Urdu accent. He also had to even lose a few kilos for the mission.
A week before his arrest, Mumbai police team learnt that he was working as an assistant electrician for a tunnel work project in Gagangiri village, about 50-60 kilometres from Srinagar from where he was nabbed by the team and brought to Mumbai by flight.
What happened that night when Pallavi Purkayastha was murdered?
The 25-year-old lawyer and national level swimmer was murdered in her 16th floor Himalayan Heights apartment in Wadala in central Mumbai.
On August 9, 2012, Sajjad stole Pallavi's flat keys and sneaked into her flat when she was asleep. When he tried to rape her, Pallavi resisted which is when he started stabbing her before slitting her throat.
Bloodstains on the corridor and on the neighbours doorbell were proof of her struggle to seek help before she was dragged back into the apartment. Her body was discovered in a pool of blood by his lawyer boyfriend Avik Sengupta, who lived with her, who returned home from work the next day.