Peter Mukerjea, who the CBI arrested on Thursday night after day-long questioning, had sought the help of top troubleshooters in New Delhi ever since the Maharashtra government transferred the case to the Central Bureau of Investigation.
In the net: The CBI questioned Peter Mukerjea since Thursday morning before placing him under arrest at night. File pic
It is reliably learnt that Mukerjea’s worries started the day the case was taken away from Mumbai Police, whose officers — very recently — told CBI officials that Mukerjea had confessed that he was aware of “a plot to eliminate Sheena” but “did not pay enough notice”.
It was not immediately known why these Mumbai police officers did not interrogate Mukerjea further. Then commissioner Rakesh Maria was transferred mid-investigation and the case was handed to the CBI after it was revealed that his successor Ahmad Javed was a friend of the Mukerjeas.
Peter Mukerjea outside Khar Police station, days after his wife Indrani was arrested in September. File pic
Since the CBI started its probe, Mukerjea played a smart game, sources said. To his interrogators, he said he was ready to cooperate, and to friends he said he had cancelled all his trips till the charge sheet against his wife Indrani was filed.
“But all the time, he was in touch with some of Delhi’s top lobbyists, who have a storied history of success. He desperately wanted to get out of CBI’s grasp,” said a top source privy to the CBI probe of the case.
More people in trouble
Now that Mukerjea has been arrested, there are chances that financial dealings he and his wife, Indrani, carried out to sell his channel could come to fore, causing discomfort to a lot of people involved in the same.
“A top legal firm could be in trouble, as could a top IPS officer in Mumbai for his complicity,” the source said.
The IPS officer, it is reliably learnt, was single handedly instrumental in hushing up the case in 2012 when Bora’s decomposed body was found in Pen taluka.
It was the officer who had called RD Shinde, superintendent of police, Raigad district and in charge of the Pen police station, instructing him not to register any case.
Shinde allegedly told Subhash Mirge, inspector of Pen police station, to hush up the case and not register an FIR or an accidental death report.
Worse, the Pen police did not send proper samples of Sheena’s body to JJ Hospital, with the alleged aim of preventing identification.
Though statements of Shinde and Mirge were eventually recorded, no immediate action was taken against them. However, an inquiry has been ordered by the state DGP to find out if there were any lapses on part of the police. The inquiry is pending. Even attempts by Mukerjea’s son Rahul, who was in love with Sheena, to register a missing person’s complaint with Worli and Khar police were checkmated by this very IPS officer.
Mukerjea — during his interrogation by the CBI — even argued that he was not the only one involved in “strange, under-the-table financial dealings for his channel” and that there were other channels in India routinely raising cash from all kinds of routes and sources.
“He has even agreed to spill the beans,” the source said.
Watch video: Former UP DGP welcomes Peter Mukerjea's arrest