Found Sheena’s body in car, says Indrani Mukherjea’s ex-husband Sanjeev Khanna

Interrogation of suspects does not bring out any motive.

August 28, 2015 12:50 am | Updated November 17, 2021 02:30 am IST - Kolkata/Mumbai

Police escort Sanjeev Khanna (face covered), ex-husband of former INX Media CEO Indrani Mukherjea, to a court in Kolkata on Thursday.

Police escort Sanjeev Khanna (face covered), ex-husband of former INX Media CEO Indrani Mukherjea, to a court in Kolkata on Thursday.

Sanjeev Khanna, ex-husband of former INX Media CEO Indrani Mukherjea, has told the police that he had seen the body of her daughter, Sheena Bora, lying next to him in a car in which they were travelling together in Mumbai on April 24, 2012.

When initially interrogated, Mr. Khanna had denied any role in the murder. However, on Thursday, in a statement to an investigating officer from the Mumbai Police in Kolkata, he said he had found the body in the car.

Police struggle to tie up the loose ends

As Police Commissioner Rakesh Maria led day-long questioning of suspects in Mumbai on Thursday, the investigation into the Sheena Bora murder case appeared to hinge solely on the “confession” made by Shyamvar Rai, driver of former INX Media CEO Indrani Mukherjea, about the murder and the dumping of the body in Raigad district.

Indrani was arrested on Tuesday on the basis of Mr. Rai’s confession.

Mr. Maria told presspersons: “Sheena was strangulated and burnt after that to protect identity; Rahul Mukherjea’s statement has been recorded. We have a fair idea of the motive behind the murder.” After the third accused, Mr. Khanna, was interrogated, the police chief would speak about the motive.

Indrani Mukherjea’s stepson, Rahul Mukherjea, said he was unaware of the sequence of events after he left Sheena with Indrani on the day of the murder. Mr. Rahul Mukherjea, son of Peter Mukherjea, former Star India CEO, told the police that the growing proximity between him and Sheena had caused disharmony in the family.

Vidhie Mukherjea, daughter of Mr. Khanna and Indrani Mukherjea, told a TV channel that the Rahul Mukherjea-Sheena Bora relationship had troubled the family, but the murder allegations on her mother came as a shock to her.

Ms. Vidhie Mukherjea said that as other family members, she had known Sheena to be her mother’s sister.

In his statement to the police in Kolkata, Mr. Khanna said: “I was in the back seat [in the car]. Indrani was sitting next to me. At 6 p.m., she made a call to someone. Then I dozed off. [Shyamvar] Rai was the driver. I woke up and saw Sheena was dead. Her body was next to me.”

He said he returned to Kolkata on April 25, 2012.

Khanna was produced before a Kolkata court, which granted a five-day transit remand of him to the Mumbai Police. He was taken to Mumbai late in the evening.

Adding to the difficulties faced by the police, the Raigad Police said on Thursday that no accidental death report was lodged at the Pen police station following the recovery of a body, suspected to be that of Sheena Bora, in April 2012. Nor was any body sample preserved for a DNA test.

“We have no DNA report from 2012 pending at our laboratory. If samples had indeed come from the Raigad Police three years ago, we would have completed the DNA tests,” a source at the Kalina Forensic Science Laboratory said.

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