MUMBAI: The car in which Sheena Bora was allegedly killed was on Saturday traced while questions cropped up of a cover-up by police in not registering a case of murder or accidental death 3 years ago when a partially-burnt body believed to be hers was found.
The Mumbai police continued the interrogation of three main suspects — Sheena’s mother Indrani Mukerjea, her former husband Sanjeev Khanna and her driver Shyam Rai all of whom are to be taken to the spot in Pen tehsil of Raigad district where the body was found a month after the murder in April, 2012.
Indrani’s son and Sheena’s brother Mikhail Bora was questioned at a hotel in Bandra. Police said Khanna and Indrani were giving evasive replies.
“We have traced the car. The car had changed many hands in three years and we are yet to recover it,” said a senior police official.
The police also said they will be taking the three arrested accused to Raigad district to recreate the crime scene. The police also sought call data records of the three accused.
As the investigation focused on forensic examination of the skeletal remains found in Pen tehsil, the police also admitted that no due procedure was followed when the body was first found on May 23, 2012.
Raigad police virtually confessed to the casual way in which they treated the case when a burnt body was spotted, a month after Sheena was believed to have been murdered.
“Neither a crime, nor a report of accidental death was registered when Raigad police sent recovered skeletal remains to JJ hospital (in Mumbai) in 2012,” the current Raigad superintendent of police Suvez Haque told reporters in Alibag, the district headquarters.
“I have been ordered to probe all the wrongs or lapses that were committed,” said Haque, who took over as Raigad SP earlier this year.
“We have given a factual report to our seniors. Inspector General of Police (Konkan Range) yesterday ordered an inquiry. We will complete it at the earliest and produce our report,” he said.
As the SP’s disclosure raised the question whether there was any cover-up of the crime back in 2012, Maharashtra DGP Sanjeev Dayal said that an inquiry has been ordered, and action will be taken against the erring officials.
Though Sheena, daughter of high-profile media professional Indrani Mukerjea, was allegedly murdered in 2012 and the body disposed of in Raigad district, the crime came to light only recently.
The remains found from the forest in Pen tehsil have been sent for DNA testing.
The J J Hospital had yesterday handed over to Khar police a few bones it had received from Raigad police in 2012. Blood and hair samples of Indrani and Mikhail Bora have also been collected and sent to Forensic Science Laboratory and the report is expected in three to four days.
According to Mumbai Police chief Rakesh Maria, who is personally involved in the grilling of the accused, Khanna had confessed to his complicity in the murder.
Yesterday the police also briefly questioned Indrani’s husband and former Star India CEO Peter Mukerjea.
While seeking Khanna’s custody, police had contended in the remand plea that Indrani, her driver and Khanna abducted Sheena in a car and took her to a forest in Pen tehsil where they strangulated her and burnt the body.
Indrani used to claim that Sheena was her sister but during her interrogation it emerged that Sheena was her daughter, as also stated by Sheena’s brother Mikhail.
Police had earlier questioned Rahul Mukerjea, Peter Mukerjea’s son by another marriage, who allegedly had a relationship with Sheena, which Indrani disapproved of.
The investigators are also looking into financial issues as a motive behind the murder which took place on April 24, 2012.