Driver's arrest nails media bigwig Indrani Mukerjea for sister's murder
Founder of 9X Media was arrested by Khar police yesterday after her driver said the two of them — and a third accomplice — had murdered her sister in 2012; her remains have been recently recovered
Indrani Mukerjea (in pic), founder of 9X media and wife of former Star India CEO Peter Mukerjea, was yesterday arrested by the Khar police for her alleged role in her sister’s murder. Sources said it was Indrani’s driver who gave her away, all these years after her sister’s disappearance in 2012.
Indrani, the founder-CEO of 9X Media, is the wife of Star India’s ex-CEO Peter Mukerjea
Cops will now question her about her sister, Sheena Bora, who had gone missing in 2012. According to the police, no missing complaint was filed by Indrani, the former CEO of 9X Media group.
The police learnt of Sheena’s murder from Indrani’s driver, Shyam Manohar Rai (43), who spilled the beans when he was arrested on August 21 in connection with an illegal arms case. During interrogation, Rai cracked and confessed to several other crimes, including the murder of Sheena.
The Vakola resident told the police that he and Indrani, along with another accomplice, murdered Sheena and dumped her body near a farmhouse in Raigad. The driver, Rai, said Indrani was the mastermind of the whole crime.
At first the cops did not believe him, but when they discovered that Sheena had been missing since 2012, they informed the Raigad police. They were shocked to find the remains of a woman at the spot.
The police have now brought the remains to Mumbai and have sent them to the forensic department for identification. Yesterday, cops picked up Indrani from her residence in Worli and took her to Khar police station. Sources said they grilled Indrani for over three hours and put forward hundreds of questions.
Indrani broke down and confessed to the murder. Khar Police did not waste any time and arrested her right then. Officials said that both Indrani and Rai were arrested under Sections 302 (murder), 201 (disappearance of evidence) and 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) of the IPC.
They were presented in Bandra court and remanded in police custody till August 31. While the motive of the crime is yet to be revealed, sources said it might have resulted from a family dispute. DCP (Detection) Dhananjay Kulkarni said, “We cannot comment on anything regarding her detention as the police are still probing the case.”
- Inputs by Shiva Devnath and Agencies
Those who know Indrani have all been left shocked by the arrest and charges. Indrani was in Spain only two months ago, recalled Sandip Misra, a seasoned journalist who was the sports editor with the NewsX channel, owned by the 9X Media banner, of which Indrani was CEO.
"I am finding this too bizarre. I am just shocked," said Sandip, adding, "She always had a point of view about the sports bulletin, she would walk up and make her point. I thought her focus was her daughter’s piano classes; a murder is something I will not be able to digest tonight."
Indrani Bora, who married Peter Mukerjea in November 2002, had a background in advertising, around the time she worked in Kolkata. She was well wired in the city’s cocktail circuit.
She was introduced to Peter by advertising guru Alyque Padamsee; by then Peter had broken off his engagement with one Sashwati Banerjee, who currently works in the social sector. The break-off was a tension-ridden affair, obviously not liked by Sashwati’s brother.
A few, angry e-mails were exchanged between her brother and Peter, but the issue was amicably resolved. "She (Indrani) and Peter destroyed my sister’s life. I have nothing to talk about them," Banerjee’s brother told a friend on hearing of the incident.
When Peter married Indrani, then a 30-year-old HR consultant in 2002, he was getting married after eight years and had two sons aged 22 and 18 at the time. Bora had a daughter from her previous marriage as well, who was five years old at the time.
(Shantanu Guha Ray)
In the above story, "Indrani's former colleagues shocked by murder charge”, writer Avirook Sen was quoted incorrectly by the reporter. Mr Sen did not speak those words to Shantanu Guha Ray, the reporter, as Mr Guha Ray got the quotes from a second hand source. Our newspaper does not allow this, and we retracted the quotes immediately. We regret the error.