The CBI on Thursday examined three Mumbai police officials including former city police chief Rakesh Maria in the high-profile Sheena Bora murder case. Rakesh Maria was supervising the murder case until he was unceremoniously removed in September last year. Maria was replaced by Ahmed Javed as police commissioner in the middle of the investigation.
The CBI also recorded the statements of two other senior police officers involved in the investigation, Deven Bharati and Satya Narayan Choudhary.
Sheena Bora was allegedly killed by her mother Indrani Mukerjea, her driver and her ex-husband and buried in the forests near Mumbai in 2012.
The spotlight had fallen on Maria and his crack team after CBI arrested media baron Peter Mukherjea last year. There were allegations that Maria had not probed the property angle in the case and not quizzed Mukherjea.
Maria, a 1981-batch IPS officer was removed as Mumbai police Commissioner and replaced by Ahmed Javed, a 1980-batch IPS officer. Maria was alleged to have taken “unusual interest” in the Sheena Bora case and frequently visited Khar police station for questioning the accused including Indrani Mukerjea, the wife of Peter.
As various theories floated about the reasons for Maria’s transfer, the Maharashtra Home Department had said the changes were made taking into account the law and order factor ahead of the Ganapati festival, dismissing suggestions that had anything to do with the ongoing investigation in the case.
However, former Mumbai Police Commissioner Satyapal Singh, now a BJP MP from Uttar Pradesh, had told TV channels that one of the reasons for shifting Maria could be that he was close to Peter Mukerjea.
Former Mumbai police commissioner Julio Ribeiro had said Maria was “people friendly” but added that investigating a murder case is not the job of a police Commissioner.
The CBI had last week filed its second supplementary charge sheet in the case in a special court, stating Sheena’s mother and prime accused Indrani Mukerjea kept her husband Peter Mukerjea updated on phone over the selection of spot for disposal of the body.
The nearly 200-page charge sheet was filed before the court of special CBI judge H S Mahajan.
As per the charge sheet, prime accused Indrani and her husband and former media baron Peter were against the “intimate relationship” between Sheena, Indrani’s daughter from earlier relationship, and Rahul, Peter’s son from his first wife.
Peter often used to quarrel with Rahul on the issue as he didn’t approve of the relationship between Sheena and his son.
As per the charge sheet, Peter always dissuaded his daughter Vidhi from having any contact with Rahul and Sheena.
The charge sheet also stated that a month after Sheena’s death, Peter wrote an email to Rahul, which read, “Initially, I was okay with your relationship (with Sheena), as I figured that due to economic pressures it would break anyway as Sheena would want more from life and that she would tell you this and leave you if she didn’t get it after a while.”
(With inputs from PTI)