Friday, May 30, 2014

Byculla's hoarding drama queen has steadily climbed police charts too

Mumbai: Sapna Pareira alias Mandal, the 48-year-old who climbed a 70-foot commercial hoarding at Byculla on Wednesday and brought traffic to a crawl for four hours, has been variously described as mentally unstable and a victim of circumstances. Police records, though, say otherwise. Mandal figures in the list of top 10 criminals in Juhu police station.
A widow for 10 years now, the resident of Vile Parle's Hanuman Chawl has at least 38 criminal cases registered against her, ranging from theft and house break-ins to assault and even murder.
Mandal was married to Hillary Pareira who died a few years ago. She has a 16-year-old daughter. “Mandal's name first cropped up in a theft case in 1994. She was arrested and granted bail. This was just the beginning and she has never looked back,“ said a police officer from Juhu police station, which has 29 of the 38 cases registered against her.

On Wednesday morning, Mandal climbed the iron supports of a hoarding next to the Byculla railway tracks, and threatened to jump off it. The high voltage drama, which caused a heavy traffic jam and drew in hundreds of gaping onlookers, continued from 11am to 3pm, when the fire brigade brought her down.

“Mandal said this was her way of agitating against some of her neighbours who wanted to evict her from her shanty. She did not register a complaint but simply went on to attempt suicide,“ said a police officer from J J Marg police station and added they did not register a suicide attempt case.
“In most criminal cases in the past, she was arrested and charge sheeted. A month ago, Juhu police held her in a house break-in at Cooper Hospital from where she stole iron rods,“ said an officer. “She is among the top 10 criminals in the Juhu police station's list,“ added Rajendra Chavan, senior police inspector of Juhu police station.

“She lives with a friend, one Gawda, who arranges for her bail every time,“ said a cop.
Her daughter studies in a boarding school in Panchgani where she was admitted with the help of a charitable trust.

So what does Mandal do for a living? “My mother is a ragpicker,“ replied her daughter.

The Times of India, May 30, 2014

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