High drama unfolded near the Byculla bridge on Wednesday as the police and fire department tried to save a 52-year-old mentally unstable woman, who had climbed onto a billboard threatening to commit suicide.
According to the JJ Marg police, the woman has threatened to commit suicide thrice before, of which one was by jumping off the same billboard about two years ago.
Around 11.30am, Sapna Pereira climbed on to the billboard, threatening to jump off, while alleging that someone was trying to evict her from her hutment in Juhu and that the police had refused to take down her complaint.
Firefighters and the police had to use a crane to negotiate with the woman.(Kalpak Pathak/HT Photo)
The image gives an idea of the height at which the negotiation was taking place.(Kalpak Pathak/HT Photo)
It took them four hours to coax her to not jump off the billboard.(Kalpak Pathak/HT Photo)
The incident caused a traffic slowdown on the stretch for a few hours.(Kalpak Pathak/HT Photo)
Most passers-by, however, didn't miss a chance to take photographs.(Kalpak Pathak/HT Photo)
The site of the chaos. The woman was handed over to the police after being rescued.(Kalpak Pathak/HT Photo)
Soon after, a crowd gathered at the spot and somebody called the fire brigade. Firefighters had to use a crane to negotiate with her, to convince her come down. Together with the police, they finally managed to get her off the billboard around 3.30pm. After being rescued, she was handed over to the JJ Marg police.
“She could not tell us why she had climbed on to billboard, but kept saying she would not vacate her hut. We called her relatives and have handed her over to them,” said Shashikant Surve, senior inspector, JJ Marg police.
Although the police have not registered a case against Pereira, they made a diary entry about the incident. They also suggested she be given medical treatment.