Indrani Mukerjea was in London, UK with her family, but returned to India on April 23, just a day before her daughter Sheena Bora was allegedly murdered.
Indrani and Peter Mukerjea. File pic
While interrogating Indrani and her husband, Peter, the Khar police have learnt that the couple were living in his house in London together, along with their daughter Vidhie (born from Indrani’s second marriage, adopted by Peter).
Sheena Bora murder case: Indrani wants to see Peter, cops say no
The police said that Indrani told her husband she needed to return to India early for a meeting, as she planned to start a human resources company. The couple had earlier also discussed starting a TV channel, but decided they could not afford it.
It may be recalled that Indrani and Peter had founded the 9X Media group and then had to step down amidst allegations of fraud. Before 9X Media, Peter was the chief of Star India, while Indrani was an HR consultant.
Peter was questioned alone at the Khar police station yesterday, and his answers were cross-checked against Indrani’s. In the meanwhile, cops also searched his house and recovered a laptop, printer and some documents.
>> April 23: Indrani arrives in Mumbai from London and allegedly begins planning Sheena’s murder with the driver, Shyam Rai.
>> April 24: Indrani’s ex-husband Sanjeev Khanna (second marriage) arrives in the city. The trio allegedly murder Sheena.
>> April 25: They dump the body in Pen.
>> April 26: Indrani flies to Kolkata with Sanjeev
>> April 27: She returns to Mumbai and stays for a few days before flying back to London.
Cops grill Peter for 12 hours
mid-day accessed some of the questions that were put to Peter yesterday. The cops also tried to verify whether his answers matched with Indrani’s.
Cops to Peter: Indrani, Vidhie and you were abroad before the crime took place. Only Indrani came back. Why?
To Peter: Did you have any knowledge of the crime in advance?
To Indrani: Peter said you had informed him that Sheena had gone to the US. Is this true?
To both: Did both of you disapprove of Sheena’s relationship with Rahul or was it just one of you?
To Indrani: Peter is saying that whenever asked, you used to reply that Sheena is in the US. Is this true?
To both: Were there any finance-related problems with Sheena?
To both: Was any money deposited in Sheena’s account in the last 7 years? How much and why?
To both: Had one of you, or both, asked Sheena to return money? What was her reply?
To Indrani: Peter had said that Rahul told him Sheena was your daughter, not sister. Peter also said that when he asked you about this, you said Sheena was your sister. Did Peter not know who Sheena was? Did you tell him she was your sister?
To both: Did Peter show any disbelief about the claim that Sheena was your (Indrani’s) sister, or he was convinced easily?
To Indrani: In your recent married life, between 2010 and 2015, were your relations such that Peter would have been convinced about this matter easily?
To Indrani: Apart from family matters, would Peter also get easily convinced in financial matters too?
To both: Did either of you have any knowledge that there was any other person in Sheena’s life apart from Rahul?
To both: How was your relationship between 2010 and 2012 and after 2012? Was there strain over finances?
To Indrani: Peter said that he did not have any knowledge about your close relations with Sanjeev Khanna. Is this true?
On August 30, the police recovered a suitcase from the Worli residence of the Mukerjeas. According to the cops, the suitcase was not meant to hold the body of Mikhail (Sheena’s brother) as it had been surmised earlier, but was instead meant for Sheena’s body itself.
Sheena Bora murder case: Peter Mukerjea records statement; Indrani, other accused quizzed
The accused trio had allegedly planned in advance to stuff her body in the suitcase and then dump it somewhere. However, they changed their plan as they feared that the suitcase would draw unnecessary attention. So they placed Sheena’s body in a seated position on the backseat, as if she was merely sleeping.
They then considered dumping the body ahead of Khandala, towards Pune, but eventually decided to stick to the spot they had picked originally in Pen. They halted at a petrol pump, bought a can of fuel and poured it over the body, set it alight and then dumped it.
Cops hunt for the murder car
In the process of tracking down the car in which Sheena was allegedly murdered and which was then used to drive out to Pen where her body was dumped, the police recorded the statement of the owner of Worli-based AM Motors.
According to the police, while Indrani’s husband Peter worked with Star India, he would be provided with cars on behalf of the company by AM Motors. According to the cops, using this connection, Indrani allegedly booked an Opel Astra from the same garage for Sheena’s murder.
Cops recorded the owner, Mohammad Faizal’s statement. He told the police that the car had since been sold to another person. Cops also learnt that the car had seen several owners since then, but they managed to track down the current owner in Pune, who will soon be questioned as well.
DNA test for Sheena’s father
Kolkata-based Siddharth Das has gone on record saying he is the biological father of Sheena and Mikhail Bora. A team from Mumbai Police has left to bring Siddharth to the city, where his DNA will be matched against Mikhail’s samples, as well as samples from the remains of Sheena, found in Raigad. Sources said Siddharth is expected to arrive today.
Sheena also poisoned?
The police suspect that Sheena (in pic) may also have been slow-poisoned by Indrani while they were living together in the Worli residence.
Cops said that Indrani may have slipped poison in Sheena’s food and she had had to be admitted in a hospital in Delhi, after which she moved in with her boyfriend Rahul (also Indrani’s step-son) in Khar.
Cops also intend to question Sheena’s friends in Kolkata, who claim that Sheena had told them she feared Indrani would try to take her life.
- Inputs by Vinay Dalvi