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Chhota Rajan trial: John Pareira’s daughter says that she did not tell CBI anything about her father’s murder

Mumbai city news: Helen told HT that when CBI officers investigating the case approached her, she declined to give them any information

mumbai Updated: Jul 19, 2017 08:56 IST
Manish K Pathak & Charul Shah
Manish K Pathak & Charul Shah
Hindustan Times
mumbai,mumbai city news,chhota rajan
John’s daughter Helen.(HT)

Mumbai: Helen Nair was just nine when her father John Pareira was stabbed to death before her eyes at Juhu beach. Thirty-five years later, she refuses to return to the beach and finds it hard to even talk about the events of February 21, 1983. She told HT that when CBI officers investigating the case approached her, she declined to give them any information. “It has been many years and I don’t remember everything. I don’t know who this man Rajan is and I don’t want to get into such things now,” she said.

Pareira lived in Juhu village with his parents, wife, a daughter and two sons. Helen, the eldest of the three, was the only eyewitness and identified four suspects. She told HT, “It was a weekday. As usual, father dropped my younger brother, Bill Robinson, to the nursery and took (two-year-old) Jackson and me for a walk.”

“Suddenly, a few people appeared from behind us and caught hold of father. I was frightened but I held Jackson and hid behind a balloon stall until the people left.”

After a while, she emerged from her hiding place and ran to her father. “I cried for help but there was no one there. After some time I saw a coconut vendor and asked him to help us contact my father’s brother. My uncle arrived and we rushed father to Cooper Hospital, but it was too late,” she said.

After Pereira’s death, the family fell on hard times. The very next day, Helen said, the municipal corporation demolished their house, saying it had been built illegally. “We suddenly had nothing. Even my grandmother refused to take us in. Father had bought a flat and a car and planned to surprise my mother. But when she asked the friend from whom he had bought the flat and the car, he refused to acknowledge any such deal,” she said.

“We then moved in with my maternal grandmother at Santacruz. My mother went to Kuwait and worked as a maid for two years. We began attending school and our uncles took care of us. But my youngest brother fell ill and she had to return after two years,” she added.

With her brother’s help, her mother bought a house at Moora village in Andheri and sent Helen to a boarding school. When she was 12 her mother decided to remarry. Their lives soon improved. “My stepfather was very good. He took care of our education and looked after us. We were very fortunate to have him in our lives,” she said.

First Published: Jul 19, 2017 00:38 IST