From trying to hack into Sheena Bora’s e-mail account to approaching a top police officer seeking his help to trace Sheena, Indrani Mukerjea seems to have tried all tricks to make the world believe that her daughter was alive long after her death.
Two things link Peter to these attempts: Him telling son Rahul Mukerjea that he need not worry about Sheena’s signature while vacating the house the two shared, and more crucially, accompanying Indrani on a visit to the then additional commissioner of police Deven Bharti (now a joint commissioner) asking him to help trace Sheena’s mobile location.
The CBI chargesheet has 194 witnesses listed in it, including Peter’s brother Gautam, doctors and investigating officers. The charge sheet along with long witness statements also has bank account details, the family will, forensic reports, conversations on various media like WhatsApp and e-mail between Indrani, Sanjeev Khanna, Peter, Sheena, Rahul and Vidhie Mukerjea.
Indrani Mukerjea Pics/PTI
Bharti is one of those who were questioned by the CBI and his statement is attached to the chargesheet, accessed by mid-day. The CBI quizzed Bharti about how he believed the Mukherjeas’ informal verbal complaint that Sheena was missing and why he did not ask them to file a formal complaint. Sheena was allegedly murdered in April 2012. Bharti was heading the crime branch till June 2012.
Joint CP (Law and Order) Deven Bharti
According to the charge sheet, Peter and Indrani approached Bharti via a common friend soon after Sheena’s death. The couple gave him Sheena’s mobile number, saying she has been missing for several days. The CBI suspects this was done to show they were desperately looking for Sheena and had no knowledge of her murder. The CBI suspects the couple, in a way, used Bharti for the purpose. Bharti will now be a prosecution witness in the case.
“I was heading the crime branch and I was the nodal officer for tracing missing person,” Bharti told mid-day. “They approached me through a common friend. They wanted to have the location of the mobile of the missing person. I assigned an officer. Later, they told the officer the missing person was traced and he can drop the matter.” Sources told mid-day that Indrani and Peter approached Bharti through a journalist. Bharti assigned an officer from the Anti-Extortion Cell to look into the matter. When the police put the number on trace, it was switched off.
Partners in crime? Indrani and Peter Mukerjea
“People often seek informal help from the police to trace the location of their near and dear ones. We help them informally, which is routine thing,” said another officer.
Dead woman talking
The CBI’s investigation also revealed that Indrani and her former husband Sanjeev Khanna had made all efforts to keep Sheena alive even after committing her murder.
According to the charge sheet, Indrani and Khanna tried to access Sheena’s e-mail account (sheenabora @gmail.com) after her death.
Pretending to be Sheena, Khanna wrote three mails to Google with the subject line ‘I cannot access my account” from his email id email@example.com on April 30, May 1 and May 2, 2012.
A response from firstname.lastname@example.org, Google’s Account Recovery Team told Khanna: ‘At google, we take security very seriously and after evaluating your responses we have determined that we will need more information to return this account (email@example.com) to you.
The chargesheet says Khanna then ordered a tool to recover Google accounts for $2 on June 17, 2012. He used Indrani’s ID for this. He forwarded this email to Indrani on June 18, 2012. One of the emails attached to the charge sheet says this ‘tool was shipped to Indrani’s Worli address’ (Cyber experts mid-day spoke to said Google does not ship any account recovery ‘tool’. “I haven’t heard of a Google recovery tool costing $2,” said Vijay Mukhi, an IT expert who specializes in cyber crime. “Unless I see the actual mail, I cannot verify authentically whether it was sent from google or was a phishing attempt. But an account recovery tool is usually a piece of software.”)
When all efforts to access Sheena’s account failed, Indrani directed her secretary Kajal Sharma to create a hotmail account – firstname.lastname@example.org.
Indrani allegedly started using this id to send emails to Mekhail Bora (email@example.com) on July 21, 2012, Peter (firstname.lastname@example.org) on March 14, 2013 and Vidhie (email@example.com) on August 26, 2012 and again on January 27, 2013.
The ID was also used to send e-mails to Sheena’s landlord, saying she is vacating the flat. As per the chargesheet, Kajal Sharma on July 21, 2012, received a mail from Indrani regarding Sheena’s Leave and License Agreement. Sharma printed out the letter and forged Sheena’s signature, just like she had done with Sheena’s employer Reliance Metro One. Driver Shyam Rai delivered the letter to the landlord.
When contacted, Khanna’s lawyer Shreyansh Mithare said, “I am still in the process of going through the charge sheet and I am not expected to speak to the media at this stage.”
Similarly, Indrani’s lawyer, Advocate Gunjan Mangla, said, “I cannot comment on the investigation part until the matter comes up before the court for trial.”
Deven Bharti’s statement to CBI: In 2013, a year after Sheena Bora’s death, Peter and Indrani Mukerjea approached top cop seeking his help to ‘trace her location’
Dead woman talking: Macabre emails ‘Sheena Bora’ exchanged with Vidhie, her former landlord, her employer and Peter
Vidhie Mukerjea, in her statement to the CBI, has said that Sheena came to live with them at their Worli residence Marlow in 2009, when she was in Class 3.
“That time my mom introduced Sheena and Mekhail as her younger sister and brother,” read her statement, attached to the charge sheet. “Sheena and Rahul went on to have a love affair, because of which my father (Peter) and mom used to quarrel a lot. My mother had told me not to have contact with both Rahul and Sheena. Later in 2009, I came to know that Sheena was the daughter of my mother as communicated by Rahul to my father Peter.”
She said Indrani shouted at her when she tried to enquire about it, saying Rahul is lying with an intention to create a rift between Peter and Indrani.
As per the chargesheet, Vidhie received an e-mail from the new hotmail ID allegedly created by Indrani some time after Sheena’s death. Following is the exchange:
Sheena to Vidhie, August 26, 2012: “Hellow Laddoo, a very happy birthday to you! This is my new email ID. Pls don’t share it with anyone. You have a great day and I miss you a lot! Lods of love and hugs and kisses. Sheena.”
Vidhie to Sheena, December 17, 2012: “How are you? Where abouts are you? I miss you so much.”
Sheena to Vidhie, January 27, 2013: “Hey vids, Indrani has mailed me to ask why I did not respond to you in the new year apparently you mailed me and wished me. You need to stop lying NOW- enough is enough You did not even have decency to respond to me with simple thanks when I wished you on your birthday let alone wish me in the New Year. You have caused confusion amongst everybody earlier with your lying. You need to stop telling lies about me. STOP IT NOW.”
E-mail exchanges between the two Ids stopped after this.
“In 2015, I intended to study in the US,” Vidhie continued in her statement. “Mom said Sheena is residing there, so she would help me in adjusting there, but later I took admission in London. She even told me later that Sheena has got married to a rich person who is diamond merchant and she is very happy in her married life and that is why Sheena could not contact us.”
On April 25, 2015, when Vidhie returned from school, Mumbai police personnel were at her home. The police told Peter and Vidhie that a murder case has been registered Indrani, Khanna and driver Rai.
Vidhie said in her statement to the CBI: “I contacted Khanna about the case. He very casually said ‘Ha Ha’ and disconnected the call.”