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Mumbai: Neighbours unite to back youth accused of attacking Bandra woman

Hill Road residents and eyewitnesses say it was Sandra Rocha who started the fight on Oct 27 by abusing college student Ashish Pandey’s father  

In a twist to our Wednesday’s report about a woman crying assault at Hill Road, eyewitnesses and residents of the area are claiming that she was the one at fault.

Residents of Ganpatwadi, Hill Road, Bandra (West) have complained to the police commissioner against Sandra Rocha, the woman who had lodged a complaint at Bandra police station on October 27, alleging that she had been threatened and assaulted by her neighbours, the Pandeys.


Residents of Ganpatwadi, Hill Road, have complained to the police commissioner against Sandra Rocha 

About 15 to 20 residents carried out a signature campaign and wrote to the top cop, stating that not just the Pandey family but many others had a grouse with her since she “has been harassing others over various issues”.

After reading mid-day’s report on Rocha’s allegations, one of the eyewitnesses to her roadside brawl with college student Ashish Pandey came forward to say that she was the one who started it.

Roshan Pandey, Ashish’s elder brother, said that Rocha’s complaint was false and she was the one who had instigated Ashish by abusing his father. Ashish responded by throwing away her two-wheeler’s key, and she then tried hitting him with the helmet, Roshan said.

While the mid-day report on November 11 mentioned that Rocha had lodged an FIR following the incident, it was actually a non-cognisable offence, he said.

“She has been a nuisance for us for many years now, and we have stopped even crossing her way, but she still wants to boss around. Because of her, my younger brother is in trouble despite doing nothing. The allegations that he pulled her hair and assaulted her are all false and nothing like that happened. There never was any FIR against
my brother Ashish on October 27, as she had taken an apology from us in writing,” Roshan told this paper.

Eyewitnesses to the incident and neighbours sided with Ashish, and claimed that Rocha has been involved
in many fights with other neighbours. An immediate neighbour of Rocha, Mary Pinto (77), said, “She stays next door and keeps fighting and troubling me for no reason. I am supposed to get water from the tap, but instead of giving it to me — who is legally bound to get water — she doesn’t allow me to get it most times, but rather gives it to
the Dubeys.”

As mentioned in our earlier report, the problem started when Rocha gave water for house chores to Uma Dubey, whose water supply had been severed years ago owing to a property feud with the Pandeys in the court.

Another neighbour, Yameen Qureshi, said, “She keeps on instigating people, and when someone retaliates she rushes to the police station. She keeps lodging complaints, and this time she has put Ashish’s future at risk.”

A mechanic present at the time of the alleged assault said, “After she came, there was a verbal fight. Initially many tried stopping them but in vain. However, the fight heated up as she said something against his father, and he
threw her keys, to which she responded by trying to hit him, but ended up hitting me as I was trying to stop both of them.”


mid-day’s report on November 12

Senior Police Inspector Ramchandra Dhawale at Bandra police station said, “There was no FIR on October 27 against the Pandey family. Rocha has been coming to the police station to lodge an FIR, and we have started the procedures of doing so, since not registering it could have led to certain problems: When a woman complains of an assault, we have to register a case, and that is what we are doing.”

Reacting to her neighbours’ opinion and claims, Sandra Rocha said, “They are trying to save themselves. All the allegations they are making against are false. Let the law decide.”

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