Sheena murder probe gathers pace; Indrani, Khanna, driver grilled jointly
Brand-new DELHI/MUMBAI: The probe into the grisly and mysterious murder of Sheena Bora gathered pace on Friday with the questioning of Sanjeev Khanna — Indrani Mukerjea’s former husband.
Police said Khanna played a key role in Sheena’s kidnapping and murder in association with her mother Indrani and her driver. Sheena was kidnapped from Mumbai and killed in Pen in Raigad in 2012.
Khanna, who was arrested in Kolkata, was remanded in police custody after being charged with murder in the case. He was taken to Khar police station for joint interrogation with Indrani and her driver. Mumbai Police commissioner Rakesh Maria himself has actually joined other officials in questioning the suspects.
Khanna was produced in Bandra court and remanded to police custody till August 31 after being charged under Sections 364 (kidnapping), 302 (murder), 201 (causing disappearance of evidence) and 120-B (conspiracy) of the IPC.
Earlier producing Khanna before court, police contended that Indrani, wife of former Star CEO Peter Mukerjea, her driver Shyam Rai and Khanna abducted Sheena in a car and took her to a forest in Pen town of Maharashtra’s Raigad district where they killed her allegedly by strangulation.
The trio had then poured petrol on her body and burnt it in the forest, they said.
Police said they want to recover the object with which Sheena was killed and also the car in which she was kidnapped and taken to the forest in Pen.
They said they have taken possession of Khanna’s passport, laptop and mobile phone and sought his custody on the ground that a detailed probe is required to be done in the case.
READ ALSO: Was Sheena pregnant when killed?
Commissioner Maria had said on Thursday night that presence of the “third accused” (Khanna) would be crucial in unravelling the mystery.
Another important person who was questioned on Friday for possible clues to the murder was Mikhail Bora, brother of Sheena, who was brought from Guwahati. He had been making claims that he has actually evidence to prove why his mother killed Sheena but he would give it to police.
On Friday, he said he would cooperate fully with police because he was seeking justice for his sister.
Gautam, the brother of Peter Mukerjea, was also called to the police station questioning.
In what could be crucial in taking the probe forward, police collected a few pieces of bones from JJ Hospital, where it was sent in May 2012, a month after Sheena’s body was burnt and dumped there.
“The hospital sent its report in 2013 saying it can not determine the age, sex or cause of death on the basis of the bones sent by the Pen police,” hospital dean Dr TP Lahane told PTI.
“Today, Khar police came to the hospital and collected the bones from us”, Lahane said declining to make any comment when asked whether the samples could be vital forensic evidence in the case.
‘Knew Sheena was Indrani’s daughter’
Peter Mukerjea, in an interview to Times now on Thursday had accepted that Sheena herself had told him that she was Indrani’s daughter and not her sister.
Mukerjea had earlier said it was only his son Rahul who had told him Sheena was Indrani’s daughter, and that he had disbelieved him as his wife claimed she was her sister. Rahul, Mukerjea’s son from his first marriage, was in a relationship with Sheena, which Peter said Indrani disapproved of.
Mukerjea had on Wednesday said he was “dumbstruck by the level of criminality” in the case. However, asked on Thursday if he believed his wife was the murderer, he said, “certainly not” and added that he believed “a person is innocent until proven guilty.”
Police suspect the case to be one of honour killing.
(With inputs from agencies)