In a first, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) will use a Google map to highlight all the landmarks covered in the probe and stitch the Sheena Bora murder case from the moment she was called to Bandra by her mother and accused in the case, Indrani Mukerjea, till the disposal of her body.
It is very common for investigating agencies to use witness accounts to deliver a narrative to the court, but the agency will use a map as imagery for the first time to give ‘accurate’ distances and perspective into the paths the victim and the accused took in the forty-eight hours from April 24 to April 25, 2012.\
The printed map, which will be a part of the agency’s chargesheet against the three accused in the probe, was drawn up during the reconstruction of the crime by the agency during their fresh course of investigation.
Sheena’s mother Indrani, wife of Peter Mukerjea, was arrested on August 25 this year by the Khar police. Her driver Shyam Rai and her ex-husband Sanjeev Khanna are the co-accused in the murder case. In September, the case was subsequently transferred to the CBI and all the accused are currently in judicial custody. CBI has been questioning Indrani in the Byculla jail where she is currently lodged. The other two accused are lodged at the Arthur road jail.
According to sources, the map traces Sheena’s day, starting 3.30 pm on April 24 when she was picked up from outside her office in the western suburbs by her fiancee Rahul Mukerjea who is Peter Mukerjea’s son from his first wife.
It ends on April 25 morning, trailing the movement of the accused and including the route taken to the Gogade Khurd village in Pen taluka in Raigad where Sheena’s body was allegedly set ablaze.
“Since there were many locations to which the victim and the accused travelled between April 24 and 25, 2012, we decided to use a map to plot the exact locations. This helped us in locating the exact spots from where Sheena was picked up, killed and subsequently set ablaze. The map also helped us to calculate the time taken by the accused in executing the murder and the disposal that ensued,” a senior official from the agency told The Indian Express.
“Maps are rarely used in cases where reconstruction of the scene of crime is done, but in this case since multiple locations are involved, a map helped us in chalking out the details seamlessly. It will act as a good piece of evidence in the court of law,” added the source.
The CBI probe has also revealed that Indrani had allegedly made two more attempts to kill Mekhail, Sheena’s brother, after a failed bid on April 24. The Mumbai Police that probed the case earlier had stumbled upon this detail while recording the statement of Mekhail. The same was later confirmed by Khanna during the interrogation.
“Her initial plan was to kill both the brother and the sister, but since Mekhail managed to flee, she dropped the plan of killing him,” added the official.
The CBI’s revelation also takes inputs from Mekhail’s statement. Mekhail had told investigators that the ‘two attempts’ were made by Indrani in 2014 in Guwahati and Mumbai, but in both instances he managed to either give Indrani a slip or produce an alibi.
“Mekhail claims that in 2014 Indrani had summoned him to meet her at a hotel in Guwahati where she was put up. Mekhail went there and the two shared a drink. While drinking, he suspected that his drinks were being spiked. He felt ‘the same way as he did in Mumbai in April 2012’. This time also he managed to give an excuse and flee from the spot,” said another official.
“The third time was when Indrani summoned him to Mumbai, but fearing a repeat, he made an excuse and didn’t turn up. Mekhail claims that after he rejected Indrani’s offer to come to Mumbai, she stopped the monthly financial aid that she had been providing him. The money he claims was used for his grandmother’s ailment,” added the official.
The CBI probe so far has concentrated only on the murder. It has not touched upon the financial trail which was cited as one of the reasons behind transferring the case to the central agency by the Maharashtra government.
“Only that part of the financial deal which is connected to the murder is being probed. We are short-staffed and probing the financial dealings of Indrani and Peter Mukerjea will require considerable manpower and experts who can help us analyse their companies’ balance sheets and account details,” added the official.