After the DNA test confirmed that the bones found in Pen are indeed the remains of Sheena Bora, the murder investigation has received another boost with accused Indrani Mukerjea’s call records placing her in Pen at the same time the body was dumped there
The police are steadily tying up the loose ends in the high-profile Sheena Bora murder case in which two major developments have emerged – not only have the DNA reports confirmed that the bones recovered from Pen, Raigad are Sheena’s remains, but cops also revealed that call records place Indrani Mukerjea – Sheena’s mother, accused in the murder — in Pen, at the same time that the body is suspected to have been dumped there in April 2012. Mumbai Police see both these developments as essential evidence that will strengthen their case in court.
Indrani Mukerjea was produced at Bandra Metropolitan Magistrate’s court on Monday, when she was sent to judicial custody. Pic/PTI
The first person to be arrested in the 2012 murder case was Shyam Rai, who worked as Indrani’s driver. He had confessed to Sheena’s murder and also told cops when and where he, Indrani and the third accused, Sanjeev Khanna (Indrani’s ex-husband) dumped her body in Pen on April 25, 2012.
These details have now been corroborated by Indrani’s mobile phone records. In fact, Indrani’s call detail record (CDR) perfectly corroborates the murder sequence that the cops have laid out so far. “After learning the exact dates and timing of the murder and the disposal of the body, we went through the call details of Indrani. We looked up who had called her, sent her text messages.
Sheena murder case: Indrani, driver sent to judicial custody for 14 days
The most important thing we learnt was the location of Indrani’s mobile phone. The records show that her phone was in the jungle area in Raigad at the same time that the body was dumped there,” said a cop from Khar police station. “Her location matched the murder sequence exactly, most crucially in the Raigad jungle, which Indrani cannot deny.
From the evening when Sheena was picked up and murdered in the car, till the next day when her body was taken to Raigad in the wee hours, all locations match with that of Indrani’s phone. This is a crucial piece of evidence,” the official added.
After a frenetic search for DNA samples from Sheena’s remains, a forensic team was sent along with the Mumbai Police to Gagode Budruk village in Pen, where the driver Shyam said the body had been dumped. mid-day reported how the team found skeletal remains on Aug 28, over three years after the incident, thanks to a local who remembered where the spot was (‘Cops find remains at crime scene, thanks to Police Patil’, August 29).
Sheena murder: Cops reconstruct crime in Indrani Mukerjea's presence
The police had recovered almost the entire skeleton from the crime scene. It was eventually the thigh bone that helped to match the remains with Sheena’s DNA. “The DNA has matched and the report was given to Mumbai Police on Monday afternoon,” confirmed Satish Mathur, director general (legal and technical) the state-run Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) in Kalina, which carried out the tests.
An official from FSL said, “Mumbai police had asked for the DNA report on an urgent basis. Our five forensic experts worked on the case on a priority basis. Indrani’s blood samples were taken, samples were also taken from Mikhail (Sheena’s brother).”
“The most important body parts for DNA are the teeth or the thigh bone. In the case we had thigh bone of the body recovered from Raigad. However, as it was three years old, we had to do a lot of work on the bone. Even after the DNA matched, we did several re-tests to cross-check the results. Only after the final confirmation was the report made,” the official added.
Top cop reveals
Police Commissioner Rakesh Maria told the press last night that crucial evidence was recovered during a search of the Kolkata home of Indrani’s ex-husband Sanjeev Khanna.
>> Cops found Sheena’s jewellery at Sanjeev’s home
>> They also found the shoes that Sanjeev had worn while dumping the body in Pen
>> DNA tests conclusively prove Indrani is Sheena’s biological mother
>> Indrani’s financial transactions are being probed
>> Team of forensic experts, auditors, CAs and IT consultants to probe various companies, investments and properties of the Mukerjeas in India, Spain, UK
>> Peter Mukerjea is still being questioned