Indrani tells police Sheena was daughter, not sister

The INX Media CEO’s confession corroborates the claims by her son, Mikhail Bora, who lives in Guwahati.

August 27, 2015 01:13 am | Updated November 17, 2021 02:30 am IST - MUMBAI

Indrani Mukherjea was arrested by the Khar police on Tuesday. File photo: Rajeev Bhatt

Indrani Mukherjea was arrested by the Khar police on Tuesday. File photo: Rajeev Bhatt

The mystery behind Sheena Bora’s murder deepened on Wednesday with Indrani Mukherjea, chief executive officer of INX Media, confessing to the police that the 24-year-old victim was her daughter and not sister as said earlier. The arrest of her ex-husband Sanjeev Khanna in Kolkata as an accomplice gave a further twist to the case.

Mumbai Police Commissioner Rakesh Maria said Indrani, wife of Peter Mukherjea, former head of Star India, made the confession after her arrest on Tuesday. It corroborated the claims by her son, Mikhail Bora, who lives in Guwahati.

Mr. Maria said Indrani’s driver Shyamvar Pinturam Rai, 43, was arrested on August 21 following the seizure of a 7.63-bore pistol from him. During interrogation, he disclosed that he, along with his employer and Khanna, had strangulated Sheena inside a car in Mumbai. “He told us that this incident took place on April 24, 2012, in Mumbai and they burnt the body with petrol before dumping it in Raigad. The local police station confirmed that a body had been found on May 23, 2012,” Mr. Maria said. It is learnt that after the murder, the car with the body inside was parked in Mr. Mukherjea’s garage and the next day (April 25, 2012), the body was dumped.

That the Pen Police station under whose jurisdiction the spot comes had not preserved any DNA sample may prove to be a hurdle in proving that the body was Sheena’s. Asked whether the police had carried out an autopsy on the body, Mr. Maria said it was being looked into.

Mr. Maria clarified no missing complaint had ever been lodged by any family member. This also raises question on whether anyone ever became curious about Sheena's whereabouts after her disappearance in April 2012.

And while police remained tight-lipped about the motive behind the crime, Mikhail said in Guwahati that he knew the “exact reason” for the murder of Sheena and he would reveal it to the police at an appropriate time. He added he and Sheena were “introduced as Ms. Mukherjea’s siblings”. He also mentioned that he lived with Sheena till 2001 but he has not been able to contact her since then.

Mr. Mukherjea added that Sheena, whom he knew as his sister-in-law, was in a relationship with his son from a first marriage, Rahul, and that his wife disapproved of the relationship. And while Siddhartha Das is said to be the biological father of Mikhail and Sheena, it is not clear whether he was ever married to their “mother”. While announcing the arrest of Sanjeev Khanna in Kolkata, Mr. Maria referred to him only as an “earlier husband” of Ms. Mukherjea, dodging questions on whether he was the first or the second husband.

The date of murder as told by Mr. Maria was identified as the one when Sheena had last communicated with her then employer Mumbai Metro One Pvt Ltd (MMOPL). In a statement issued on Wednesday, an MMOPL spokesperson said that she had joined the company as Assistant Manager in June, 2011. “She took leave of absence on 24th April 2012 and while she was on leave, she sent in her written resignation,” the statement added, raising the question who sent her resignation to the company when she had been killed on April 24.

The city-based businessman will be produced before a court on Thursday. Though it is not clear as to how Mr Khanna is associated with the crime, senior officials said that there are plans are to take Mr. Khanna to Mumbai on a transit remand. Mr. Khanna's friend, Ajay Rawla, from whose house he was picked up, told the media that Sheena is not “his [Mr Khanna's] daughter.”

(Additional reporting by Soumya Das & Shiv Sahay Singh from Kolkata)

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