Mumbai's nightmare Sapna Pereira now terrorising sisters at Missionaries of Charity

Updated: 25 December, 2016 11:16 IST | Hemal Ashar |

Sapna Pereira, who has terrorised Mumbai on several occasions in the past, has returned, and this time, she is rampaging outside Mother Teresa's Missionaries of Charity Home in Vile Parle

Sister Medard demonstrates how she was punched by Sapna. Pic/Sayyed Sameer Abedi
Sister Medard demonstrates how she was punched by Sapna. Pic/Sayyed Sameer Abedi

While it is the season to be jolly, the Mother Teresa's Missionaries of Charity home in Vile Parle is instead feeling fear, as Sapna Pereira, a local, has terrified the sisters by repeatedly tormenting them, and forcing them to part with ration. Even the cops have no clue on how to deal with the woman.

When we visited the Ashram recently, the sisters were filled with trepidation even talking about Sapna Pereira. They said their tormentor-in-chief hurls stones from outside before taking a short walk on the wall and then scaling it to enter the ashram.

Sapna threw stones at Sister Medard (top left) and punched her. Sister Praxides says they give her ration, but she keeps demanding more
Sapna threw stones at Sister Medard (top left) and punched her. Sister Praxides says they give her ration, but she keeps demanding more

Sister Praxides, in-charge of the home said, "We do give Sapna rice, dal and other ration and we have done this many times in the past but she wants more and more. This ration is reserved for the poor. Once, she wanted a 5 kg can of oil and a 20 kg sack of atta, we cannot give that much to one person as we keep measured amounts. Once a month, we have a Ration Day, where the poor line up for ration. We fear Sapna will arrive and wreak havoc on those days."

Read Story: No MHADA flat for drama queen Sapna Pereira

The sisters are so scared that they were keeping a watch out for Sapna even as they spoke to this reporter. The watchman, L Marquis said, "Sapna is very strong and can overpower people. She throws stones into the ashram and has hurled a brick at me once." The sisters claim have approached the cops several times, but they keep getting told to go to Vile Parle and Santacruz station or made to wait for hours. In the end, cops tell them they have hundreds of complaints against her but they cannot do much in the matter.

Watchman L Marquis points to the gate Sapna enters from
Watchman L Marquis points to the gate Sapna enters from

Ailing sister targeted
Sapna's attacks aren't limited to stoning the ashram alone. "Sapna attacked me once just outside the Ashram, when I was taking a cancer-afflicted sister to the Nanavati hospital for chemotherapy. She threw stones on me and the ailing sister, punched me and dislodged my spectacles," said sister Medard. She added how Sapna broke the lock to their ration room once, "I wanted to push her inside and lock the room, but she kept the door ajar and had one foot outside."

Parishioners K Misquitta and J Perreira said, "Someone will be very seriously injured here and we may be on the brink of some tragedy." If she is not given what she wants, she subjects the sisters and whoever else inside the home to a torrent of filthy, verbal abuse. The home houses at least 17 children as young as two, with special needs.

Very dangerous woman
The adjoining St Francis Xavier's Church staff has also seen Sapna wreak havoc in the vicinity. Fr. Savio D'Souza, parish priest and manager, St Xavier's Church, school and junior college said, "Sapna has been creating problems for many years. The sisters have also complained to me. She had once even asked me to tell the sisters to give her ration and said if they do not give it to me I will use force. She is relying on dadagiri (might) to get away with all this. She is not a menace, she's dangerous."

Complaints pile up
The sisters have sought the help of the police to deal with Sapna. mid-day has copies of several letters written to police stations from the Missionaries of Charity complaining about Sapna. An excerpt from a 2012 letter states: "She attacks the benefactors, those who come to our institution by violently pulling them, abusing the sisters, stoning our institution, using an iron rod..."

Another letter was written as recently as December 16 of this year to the Santa Cruz police station, but they have received no significant help yet.

Dattatrey Bhargude, ACP, Santacruz division said, "She (Sapna) is a criminal-minded woman. We have arrested her for several crimes and have 8 to 10 offences against her. When we arrest her and produce her in front of the Magistrate, she starts shouting in court. The court has warned her several times but she does not take heed. We have also taken preventive action against her. We have approached several NGOs, but nobody wants her because of her behaviour. We are thinking about what we should do. She has recently fought with a woman, where she suffered several injuries."

Sept 2007: Sapna Pereira was spotted dancing on the field at Wankhede stadium during the felicitation ceremony to honour Team India's T20 World Cup victory

May 2009: Pereira tried to strangulate herself at the MHADA office, as she claimed she did not get a house in the MHADA lottery scheme.

July 2010: She climbed a tower in Mangalore in a bid to demand an opportunity to meet the police commissioner.

September 2011: She climbed a tower opposite the Thane jail to protest against the apathy of authorities in providing treatment to her blind daughter.

Feb 2012: Sapna climbed atop a hoarding at Byculla, threatening to commit suicide. She wanted treatment for her daughter.

May 2014: Sapna climbed atop a hoarding at Byculla demanding an audience with the Mumbai police commissioner to intervene in a property dispute.

First Published: 23 December, 2016 08:23 IST

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