Indrani Mukerjea: My life is in danger after testifying against Chidambarams
In the note she passed on to a policewoman, Mukerjea says she fears for her safety ever since testifying against Karti Chidambaram in the INX bribery case
Indrani was discharged around 12.45 pm yesterday. Pic/Sameer Markande
In a new twist to the overdose mystery, Indrani Mukerjea has alleged that her life is in danger in Byculla jail, where she was sent back yesterday from JJ hospital. Two days before her return to prison, she told the police that she did not feel safe there after recording a statement against former finance minister P Chidambaram and his son Karti.
After Indrani's overdose episode at Byculla jail, she was admitted to JJ hospital on Friday night. On Monday, the Nagpada police visited her in hospital to record her statement, and she gave them a one-page handwritten letter, said sources from the police.
Former finance minister P Chidambaram and his son Karti
Indrani, who is under trial for the murder of her daughter Sheena Bora, wrote: "I have been lodged at Byculla jail since 31 months. I am not safe, as I gave a statement to the CBI in February against Karti Chidambaram and P Chidambaram under Section 164 of CrPC. Either shift me to a safe house or give me bail."
Karti was arrested by the CBI from Chennai airport on the basis of confessional statements of INX Media Limited directors Indrani and her husband Peter Mukerjea. Peter's statement was recorded by the Enforcement Directorate (ED), which is probing the money laundering angle in the case. Indrani's statment was made before a magistrate for the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
The Mukerjeas alleged that they paid $7 lakh to Karti on the instructions of his father Chidamabaram, as quid pro quo for an FIPB (Foreign Investment Promotion Board) clearance. Both Peter and Indrani had alleged that they met the then finance minister Chidambaram at his North Block office, seeking clearance for foreign investments in their media company after the Income Tax department detected irregularities in these instances in 2007. Chidambaram had then asked them to "help his son's business and make foreign remittances for this purpose," said an official, quoting the Mukerjeas' statements.
The couple also admitted that they subsequently met Karti at a five-star hotel in Delhi, where he allegedly made a demand of $1 million. This was reiterated by Indrani before the magistrate as well, confirming that a payment of $7 lakh was made to the bank accounts of overseas firms linked to Karti.
Daal mein kuch kaala?
In her letter, Indrani also mentioned that on the day of the overdose, she returned from court and had one cup of daal. Later, she took the medicine given to her by jail staff. She added that she could not recall anything that happened after that.
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Indrani Mukerjea out of danger, say doctors at Mumbai's JJ Hospital