Indrani, Peter Mukerjea told joint CP to stop looking for Sheena Bora

Feb 17, 2016, 07:55 IST | Vijay Kumar Yadav and Sailee Dhayalkar

The supplementary chargesheet filed yesterday reveals that Joint CP Deven Bharti had said that the Mukerjeas told him to stop the search for Sheena

In the supplementary chargesheet filed in the Sheena Bora murder case yesterday, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has added a fresh statement from Joint Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) Deven Bharti that suggests Peter may have played a larger role in the conspiracy than he admits. The senior cop revealed that Indrani and Peter Mukerjea had told him to stop looking for Sheena.

Cops alleged that both Indrani and Peter did not approve of Sheena’s relationship with Rahul. File pic
Cops alleged that both Indrani and Peter did not approve of Sheena’s relationship with Rahul. File pic

The 500-page chargesheet was filed in court yesterday, and names Peter Mukerjea as one of the accused for the 2012 murder of Sheena Bora, apart from prime accused Indrani Mukerjea (Sheena’s mother), her ex-husband Sanjeev Khanna and her driver Shyam Rai. The chargesheet says that the conspiracy to separate Sheena and her boyfriend Rahul Mukerjea started in 2009, and the conspirators turned to murder as the last resort, since none of their other tactics had worked. There are 52 statements, inlcuding one sealed statement of witness number 32. The CBI refused to reveal his name at this stage, saying he is an influential person.

Bharti’s statement had already been recorded earlier, when he had said that Indrani and Peter had approached him to trace Sheena’s location. However, after the CBI took over the case, they recorded his statement again since they believed he may not have recalled everything about an incident that had happened years ago. The CBI sleuths recorded a fresh statement on November 26 last year, and this time, Bharti recalled that the couple also asked him to stop the search a few days later.

“In the fresh statement, the senior IPS officer added that following the request of the Mukerjeas, Bharti had asked Police Inspector Nitin Alaknure (then attached with the anti-extortion cell) to trace the location of Sheena’s phone number. However, a few days later, the Mukerjeas again contacted him and asked him to stop tracing her location. Following this, Bharti asked Alaknure to stop,” said a CBI source.

The CBI alleged that the Mukerjeas allegedly played this out as a drama to convince Peter’s son Rahul that they too were convinced about Sheena’s disappearance. “Rahul was repeatedly asking them about Sheena. Hence, to give him the impression that they were worried about her as well, they showed him that they were using their influence to find her,” the source added. After a few days, however, they asked the police to stop the search as they didn’t want a full-blown investigation, officials alleged.

This revelation indicates Peter was part of the criminal conspiracy as well, and he played an active role in misleading Rahul and concealing the crime. The CBI also recorded the statement of PI Alaknure, who is presently posted with the Khar police, who first cracked the murder case. Peter’s lawyer, Kushal Mor, said the judge announced February 29 as the next hearing date. Peter was seen reading the chargesheet in court and took a copy to read in jail.

Other points
- CBI said this chargesheet against Peter focuses mainly on the murder conspiracy. Officers said that the probe into financial transactions will be included in the next supplementary chargesheet.

- The chargesheet claimed that both Indrani and Peter were unhappy with the relationship between Rahul and Sheena. They told one of their friends, Prithul Sanghvi (also a witness in the case) that this relationship was not correct.

- A Delhi flat that was to be bequeathed to Sheena was sold instead.

Constant communication
CBI stated that several calls were made between Indrani and Peter on the night of the murder. The chargesheet states that Indrani received a call from Peter at 1:36 pm and they spoke for 246 seconds. There was another call wherein they spoke for 1,329 seconds. After the body’s disposal they spoke again for 924 seconds. There was also exchange of messages before and after the murder.

Charges against Peter
Conspiracy read with Sections 364 (kidnapping or abducting in order to murder), 302 (murder), 328 (causing hurt by means of poison, etc), 201(causing disappearance of evidence of offence, or giving false information to screen offender), 203 (giving false information respecting an offence), 307 (attempt to murder), 420 (cheating), 468 (forgery) and 471 (using as genuine a forged document or electronic record) of the IPC.

Bail denied
The fresh statements have already hurt Peter, as they formed the basis for his bail application to be denied. While rejecting Peter’s request for bail, the judge said he had relied on the fresh statements from Deven Bharti and Rahul Mukerjea (recorded on November 22, 2015.

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