Indrani Mukerjea is conscious and improving: Hospital official

Mumbai: Indrani Mukerjea, one of the three prime accused in the Sheena Bora murder case who was admitted to a hospital here in an unconscious state on Friday, has regained consciousness and her health was improving, a hospital official said on Sunday evening.

T.P. Lahane, dean of Sir J.J. Group of Hospitals, said Indrani was "out of danger, conscious but drowsy".

"She is now out of danger and conscious. She is still drowsy and responds to oral commands. We have given her water and she drank it. She will be kept under observation for another 48 hours. Thereafter she will be discharged," he told media persons.

On Saturday, Lahane had said Indrani lapsed into 'deep sleep' or stupor, but she emerged from it after nearly 18 hours.

He said the forensics report indicated that Indrani did not suffer from a drugs overdose, though she was earlier treated on that assumption.

On Friday, Lahane had said doctors "think that she (Indrani) consumed some tablets", and they were treating her on that basis.

The earlier report of Indrani's gastric lavage had come negative since the medicines could be absorbed and the truth would be known from the urine sample reports.

She was likely to be questioned by police on Sunday night or on Monday on the fresh mystery surrounding her health condition.

Maharashtra's Leader of Opposition Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil on Sunday demanded to know whether Indrani attempted suicide or was it a bid to murder her.

Vikhe-Patil told media persons that the manner in which the Sheena murder case investigation was taken away from Mumbai police and handed over to the CBI was "surprising".

"There are many unanswered questions. Former police commissioner Rakesh Maria's sudden transfer though the accused were already arrested and the case sent to CBI. Now, Indrani's present health condition raises suspicions. Is somebody sought to be protected by making an attempt on Indrani is the question bothering people," he said.

He wondered that if this could happen to Indrani in judicial custody, there could be a risk to the life of Samir Gaikwad -- an activist of Hindu right-wing group Sanatan Sanstha who was arrested in connection with the murder of Communist leader Govind Pansare.

Indrani was rushed to Sir J.J. Hospital after she complained of uneasiness and breathing issues around 2 p.m. on Friday. Earlier, doctors at the Byculla Jail where she was kept under judicial custody tried to treat her for over two hours.

Officials said Indrani was reportedly prescribed to take two pills for epileptic problems, one in the morning and one in the evening, under the supervision of jail authorities.

However, officials claimed that she apparently hoarded the tablets and took them at one go early on Friday that led to her present condition.

Though the motive behind her action is a matter of speculation, Indrani was reportedly under stress after her 82-year-old mother Durga Rani Bora died on Thursday in Guwahati.

Indrani was arrested on August 25 for her role in April 2012 murder of her daughter Sheena.

Along with Indrani, her ex-husband Sanjeev Khanna and her former driver Shyamvar Rai were also nabbed, though the motive behind the murder is yet to be ascertained.

The sensational case was initially handled by Mumbai police under the supervision of then police commissioner Rakesh Maria and later transferred to the CBI by the Maharashtra government after allegations of improper investigations.

The CBI finally took over the investigation on September 29 and has lodged a separate case against the three accused.

Since September 7, the accused trio of Indrani, Khanna and Rai remain in judicial custody, which will end on October 5.

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