On the one hand, it is laudable how the Mumbai Police have diligently been following the Indrani Mukerjea murder case for months, based on one anonymous call to top cop Rakesh Maria.
Murder most foul: Villagers found Sheena's body, but cops kept no record
Peter Mukerjea’s son Rahul at Khar police station last night. Pic/Shadab Khan
On the other, it now turns out that the murder might have come to light three years ago, but the police did not take it seriously when the disappearance of Sheena Bora was reported to them by her father, brother and boyfriend.
According to sources, within a week of Sheena’s disappearance in April 2012, her brother Mikhail and boyfriend Rahul Mukerjea approached both the Khar and Worli police stations.
But Sheena’s mother, Indrani, who is currently charged with her murder, assured the cops that Sheena had moved to the US. After this, the police did not file a missing complaint.
Sheena was Indrani’s daughter from her first marriage to Siddharth Das. However, Indrani never told anyone about this, and would instead refer to Sheena as her sister. In 2002, Indrani married her third husband, Peter Mukerjea, who is Rahul’s father (from an earlier marriage).
Rahul initially had no idea that Sheena was his step-sister. Eventually, the two fell in love and started to live together in Bandra, and then in Malad. Sources said that Indrani was unhappy about their relationship.
When Sheena went missing in April 2012, Rahul, Mikhail and Siddharth first went to the Khar police, who asked them to file a complaint at the Worli police station instead. When they visited the Worli police station, they had a hard time being taken seriously, said sources. After repeated efforts by Rahul, a police team agreed to visit Indrani’s Worli residence. After questioning the building staff, the cops learnt that Indrani was not in India.
“When Indrani returned to India, she visited Worli police station and clarified that Sheena had moved to the US. She also told the police that Rahul was trying to stalk Sheena and that was why she had left the country without informing him,” said a police source.
The police are yet to determine the motive behind the murder, but several theories have been put forward by sources. One of them is that Indrani was upset about Sheena’s relationship with Rahul. Indrani has a second daughter, Vidhi, from her second marriage to Kolkata-based businessman Sanjeev Khanna. When Indrani married her third husband Peter Mukerjea, Vidhi joined their family.
Sheena Bora murder: Khanna played the cat and mouse game before arrest
Indrani allegedly approached ex-husband Sanjeev and told him that if Rahul married Sheena, then their daughter Vidhie would be cheated out of the Mukerjea inheritance. Sources said this could have been why Sanjeev agreed to help murder Sheena.
Another theory is that Indrani was having disagreements with Sheena, mostly about money and property. Indrani and Peter Mukerjea had founded the 9X Media group and then left it amidst reports of embezzlement. When the two sold their stake in the media group, they allegedly routed all the money to accounts of relatives, including Sheena. Later on, Sheena refused to give the money back, claimed sources.
— Inputs by Shiva Devnath
When Rahul tried to contact the missing Sheena, he got a text message from her number that said “I am in UK living a happy life. Please don’t disturb our parents about our relationship.” Sources said this message was sent from Sheena’s phone by Indrani, to persuade Rahul to drop the matter.