Dear Friends,

All of you are aware that your Voice, SILENT VOICE, is in forefront of the Battle, with SOUL – SAVE OUR LAND; in opposing the Unjust Land Acquisition notices served by BMC on St. Anthony’s Church, Malwani and Our Lady of Assumption Church, Kandivali.

From the day one, SOUL has decided to keep away the Politicians, who only pay the lip service and do nothing to help the cause.

Politicians do have that itch of getting into public eyes, to serve their own purpose….This is the story of a prominent politician who tried to damage the cause, clandestinely; then was caught into his own web of lies, while trying to clarify his stand…..

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SANJAY NIRUPAM, MP; Grilled by SOUL Team, Parishioners of St. Anthony’s Church, Malwani and Our Lady of Assumption Church, Kandivali on June 03, 2013

sanjay nirupam

SOUL Team’s meetings with, Honorable Mr. Sunil Prabhu, Mayor; Mr. Ram Barot, Chairman of Improvement Committee of BMC, and Various other high ranking BMC officials, related to Road Widening issue; courtesy, Shree Ram Barot; at BMC headquarters, revealed true face of our MP, Mr. Sanjay Nirupam.

At the meetings, SOUL team was frowned upon, by BMC officers, for raking up the issue, after having conceded the land for Road widening. This statement by BMC officers took SOUL Team by surprise and shock; but SOUL team contested their claim rigorously. Sensing the mood of SOUL team, the officers revealed inadvertently, that Mr. Sanjay Nirupam, MP; in a meeting with officers of BMC, including the Commissioner Mr. Sitaram Kunte, had allegedly stated; “the matter at St. Anthony’s Church has been resolved since they have given in writing to take over the church & school land, so BMC can acquire the land and go ahead with road widening”. BMC therefore, has decided to begin acquiring the land for widening of the road, after the Monsoon; stated the officers. At this juncture, the BMC officers were told that the Church authorities have not met Mr. Sanjay Nirupam nor he has been authorized to decide, on behalf of the Church. SOUL Team also stated that the BMC will not be allowed to take an inch of our land, come what may. They were also told in no uncertain terms that henceforth a Political Battle will begin, which the SOUL team was avoiding hitherto.

MP; Sanjay Nirupam’s Meeting with  SOUL team & parishioners of St.Anthony’s Church to clarify his statement.

Monday, the 3rd of June, Mr. Sanjay Nirupam met SOUL Team and other Parishioners, both from Malwani as well as Kandivali and tried to clarify his position on the above matter. At the onset he targeted, Mr. Alex D’mello, a SOUL member, for circulating an E mail against him, which he perceived as personal attack and defamatory, in connection with the above mentioned incident. Mr. Alex D’mello explained that we are all hurt with the fact that the person and the party, whom the community has been voting in every election, regularly, have betrayed them. However, he also expressed regret to Mr. Nirupam, if unknowingly he has hurt his sentiments…..

Mr. Nirupam, then went on rattling, how he has been fighting with BMC administration to resolve issues the SOUL team has been fighting for, viz. Land Acquisition notices issued by BMC to St. Anthony’s Church Malwani, Our Lady of Assumption Church, Kandivali and Land for Christian Cemetery on Eastern side of the Western suburb. On this point he was asked, why didn’t he keep the SOUL team informed about it? He accepted that it was a mistake on his part, but was unable to show us any correspondence entered into with BMC & his office ….We draw our own conclusions…..

Besides, in contradiction, he stated that his office has been sharing all the correspondence with Church authorities (a bunch of lies), which Fr. Austin Norris denied, except for one letter which he wrote to BMC in the initial stages of our campaign……Fr. Austin mentioned this to the participants, after Mr. Nirupam had left. Mr. Nirupam was shown the last letter sent to him by Mr. Stanley Fernandez on 2nd May’13 which specifically asked him to furnish all copies of his communication on this issue between his office, the BMC & the CM’s office & their responses till date to which he has no answer.

Mr. Nirupam tried to politicize the matter, stating that Mr. Ram Barot and Mr. Sunil Prabhu are from opposition parties, therefore they could be trying to drive a wedge between the good relations the community is having with his party & how could we believe such people? He was told bluntly, not to politicize the meeting since, it was in the official capacity as Mayor and Chairman of improvement Committee, the SOUL team met the two gentlemen. Besides, it was the BMC officers who shared the information, on the insistence of team members, about the meeting between Mr. Nirupam & the Municipal Commissioner. He was asked about his promise made on 1st Dec’12, at the Kandivali rally to get the notices withdrawn within 6 months to which he projected a blank face. He was further told to stop giving assurances & get the work of stopping the land acquisition done. He was communicated that the people of Malwani & Kandivali were angry & upset with his lies & double speak.

He tried to claim credit for SOUL teams meeting with the BMC commissioner and also his site visit to Malwani & Kandivali….his claim was struck down promptly….It is well known that Mr. Julio Rebeiro was instrumental in getting the meeting with Mr. Sitaram Kunte, BMC commissioner…Presentation by the SOUL team at this meeting convinced Mr. Kunte to pay a site visit who personally told the team that he would visit both sites.

Mr. Nirupam, at one stage mentioned that on his instructions, BMC has left the stretch near the church untouched. He was told that BMC authorities made three attempts to start work on this stretch, with JCB’s et all in tow. It was foiled every time, by Greg Pereira putting up calls to Mr. Sitaram Kunte, BMC commissioner.

He tried to present a front that the BJP/Shivsena were the ruling parties in the BMC & hence his hands were tied. However, Dolphy D’souza told him, the Urban Ministry was in the hands of the Chief Minister, who can direct BMC to re-align the road, as it has been done in the past on Hill Road, Bandra. He chose to keep silent. He was told that the fact remains that for the first time Mr. Ram Barot & his team has talked about a solution oriented approach which neither the Congress MLA nor MP has talked about till date. It is they who have given us hope not the Congress. Mr. Nirupam tried to convince the gathering that he is working for the SOUL cause, and will try and fix up a meeting with Chief Minister, Mr. Prithviraj Chavan…but when the meeting will materialize, he was not sure.

He was reminded that he is the one who performed BHUMI PUJAN, (inauguration) of this very road widening; didn’t he think about the anomaly which has been created by taking the property from one side….He did not have answer but only said, widening of the road is necessary….contradicting himself. He was furious, when he was asked that why didn’t he respond to the letter written by Greg Pereira, related to BHUMI PUJAN.

Knowing that he is unable to face the crowd, he departed hurriedly, with an excuse of another appointment…..promising he would come once again, perhaps on twenty fifth….which twenty fifth? We do not know.


“Dear Sir, We have come to know from a reliable source that you have given permission to BMC authorities to acquire our land without any table discussion. Who gave you that authority? You have cheated us. God Bless you. You have cheated the Church of Jesus Christ – Fr. James Corriea…”

This SMS from Fr. James Corriea rattled our MP, who for last six months or so, did not bother, even to acknowledge numerous letters, written to him by SOULmates. He started calling Fr. James Corriea, who did not respond. Thereafter, he sent a SMS to Fr. James Corriea:

“Resp. Father, U R completely Mistaken. Somebody has given you wrong info. Pl call me and get it clarified. Thanx. Warm regds. – Sanjay Nirupam.”

It is needless to say that Fr. James Corriea did not respond…Mr. Nirupam, then deputed his emissary, to Fr. James, who did not pay any attention. Finally, Mr. Nirupam personally called Mr. Dolphy D’souza, spokesperson of SOUL and requested for a meeting in order to clarify his stand on the issue. This is how the meeting was materialized.

It has already been narrated above, how the meeting ended. In case you have not understood the conclusion….following SMS, again from Fr. James Corriea to Mr. Nirupam explains everything in few words:

Thank you for coming for the meeting. I disagree with all that you said. Your defense has only angered me and the people, as you walked away without listening to us. I am upset and disappointed. God Bless you. – Fr. James Corriea.

Bottom line of this episode is:

Mr. Nirupam did not deny his controversial utterances at the BMC Meeting with the Municipal Commissioner…







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