In two months of investigations, the CBI has recorded over a hundred statements in the Sheena Bora murder case. mid-day has accessed the statements of some of the close family friends of the deceased and the accused, and the testimonies of a few police officers
Here are the statements of some police officers who gave details of the initial investigations into the case, and a few family members who helped the CBI understand the equations within the Mukerjea family
Deven Bharti (Joint CP -- law and order)
Bharti stated that he was aware about the Sheena Bora murder case, as he used to visit Khar police station with former commissioner of police Rakesh Maria.
Bharti said, “On being specifically asked, I state that Peter and Indrani are acquainted with me since I was working in the FRRO (Foreigner Regional Registration Office), Mumbai. The couple had also visited and met me in my office in connection with extension of their PIO (Person of Indian Origin) card, etc.”
Bharti further stated, “When I was posted in the Crime Branch in 2012, Peter and Indrani contacted me to find the latest location of one of their relatives. The couple also talked to me in this regard over the phone. I asked an inspector in the Crime Branch to find out the location of the mobile number provided by the couple.”
Bharti added, “As far as I remember, we had not obtained the CDR (Call Data Record) of the mobile number of that relative. However, after enquiring with the said police official in this regard, I would definitely communicate to the CBI.”
Bharti further said that he doesn’t recollect the name and number of the relative of Peter and Indrani. “The location of the number was ascertained from the nodal officer of the concerned service provider and was conveyed to them.”
Dinesh Kadam (Inspector)
Kadam said that he arrested Shyam Rai (Indrani’s driver) during patrolling on August 21 and presented him before the court. The cops got custody for three days.
Rai disclosed to Kadam, “I, along with Indrani and Sanjeev Khanna (Indrani’s former husband), kidnapped Sheena from Khar in April 2012. After that she was strangulated and was killed by us. Khanna had come from Kolkata to kill Sheena and stayed in Hotel Hill Top, Worli. The next day, all three of us kept the dead body of Sheena Bora in a bag and went to Khopoli and disposed of the dead body by pouring petrol and burning it.”
Rai’s revelation led to the arrest of Indrani and Khanna. Kadam further stated that these were the reasons behind the crime ascertained by the Mumbai Police before the case was transferred to the CBI:
>> Indrani had suppressed the fact from Peter as well as her near and dear ones that Sheena and Mikhail were her children.
>> If Sheena’s marriage had been solemnised with Rahul, Sheena would definitely become a more powerful lady in the family since Peter’s blessings have always been with Rahul.
>> According to the Mumbai Police, there might be some property matters involved behind the murder.
Shabnam Singh (Rahul’s mother)
Shabnam said that she and Peter got married in 1978. Robin was born in 1980, Rahul was born in 1982. It was in 1990 that she came to know about another woman in Peter’s life. Shabnam decided to separate for the wellbeing of the children.
After four or five years, Shabnam and Peter got divorced and in the year 2003 she came to know from Peter that he was planning to get married with a young woman who had a 3-year-old daughter. Shabnam further said that Peter used to help her financially by paying her maintenance.
“Peter wanted to make a one-time settlement, which was not acceptable to me. It took about two years for him to agree to the final settlement decided by the court. Indrani also phoned me to tell me to accept whatever Peter was offering,” said Shabnam.
“She wanted to put a clause (in the divorce agreement) that there would be no further contact with Peter. I did not agree to this clause as my lawyer said that it was stupid.”
About the settlement Shabnam said, “During the settlement, a flat in England was transferred to the name of Rahul by Peter as a part of the settlement and there is a house in Oxford, UK, on which he put my name.”
When Sheena went missing, Rahul told Shabnam, and she came to Mumbai and helped Rahul to file a police complaint. Rahul had said that Sheena couldn’t travel abroad because her passport and other personal things like credit cards, personal belongings were with him.
Siddharth Das (Indrani’s first husband)
“Have you taken care of your children?” Indrani asked Siddharth Das, biological father of Sheena Bora, when he met her in Mumbai Police’s custody after she was arrested for Sheena’s murder. Siddharth told CBI that Indrani had abandoned both children (Sheena and Mikhail) for her ambitious plans.
According to the statement given by Siddharth to CBI, he had met Indrani in the year 1986 through a mutual friend. He said, “We became intimate. She was two years junior to me. We were in a live-in relationship.
Sheena was born on February 11, 1987 and Mikhail was born on September 9, 1988. In the year 1989, Indrani left and never came back. I tried to locate her but failed. She even left Guwahati. As Indrani is the only child, her parents pampered her a lot.”
Siddharth often used to visit Indrani’s house to meet Sheena and Mikhail. In 1992, when Siddharth went to meet Sheena and Mikhail, Indrani’s mother Durga Rani, told him to go back as Indrani was in the house. In 1997, Siddharth moved to Kolkata.
He told the CBI, “After 1989, I never met Indrani. I also never tried to meet her because I know she deliberately left me and my children for her future plans. While we were in a relationship, Indrani looked after the kids while I used to work.
I met Sheena while she was in Std X. From her I came to know that Mikhail was studying in Bangalore. It may be in the month of September or August 2010, that I got Sheena’s phone number and wished her on her birthday. After April 2012, whenever I tried to contact her, the mobile was switched off and there was no response from her on mail.”
Siddharth told CBI that he never knew that Indrani had got married to Sanjeev Khanna and subsequently Peter. Sheena had told Siddharth about her boyfriend Rahul but he never asked about him. He came to know about Sheena’s murder when Indrani was arrested.
Dr Yusuf Matcheswalla (Psychiatrist)
It was in February 2006 that Indrani visited doctor Dr Yusuf Matcheswalla. Indrani took Mikhail to the doctor as he had drug-induced psychosis. The doctor then asked Indrani to admit Mikhail to hospital and he was admitted for two months.
Later, Mikhail was sent to a rehabilitation centre in Pune where he was kept for nine months. After a few months, Indrani again visited the doctor about the hypertension problem that she was going through.
Abhijit Sen (Indrani’s friend)
Abhijit Sen told the CBI that Sanjeev Khanna (Indrani’s former husband) was addicted to liquor. After consuming liquor, he used to become aggressive and violent. It was this behaviour, coupled with Indrani’s interest in other men, that made her want to divorce Khanna.