A police team probing the murder of Sheena Bora claimed Saturday that her mother Indrani Mukerjea, married to former Star India CEO Peter Mukerjea, convinced her former husband Sanjeev Khanna that if they got rid of Sheena and her brother Mikhail, they could share Peter’s fortune.
Investigators claimed that in March 2012 — Sheena was murdered the following month — Indrani told Khanna that the family money would then remain with her, Peter, Khanna and Vidhie (her daughter from Khanna who was later adopted by Peter).
Watch Video: Police Investigation Reveals How Indrani Mukerjea Kept Sheena Bora’s Murder Under Wraps
Indrani, Khanna and her former driver Shyam Rai have been arrested for Sheena’s murder. On Saturday, police traced the car used in the alleged abduction and murder of Sheena and disposal of the body later.
According to investigators, the conspiracy involved killing Sheena — a sizeable portion of the family fortune was allegedly parked in her bank accounts — and getting Mikhail declared mentally unstable.
These details, investigators claimed, emerged after Khanna was questioned. A Mumbai-based psychiatrist is now under the police scanner. Sources claimed the psychiatrist was approached by Indrani to procure a fake certificate declaring Mikhail mentally unstable.
“The reason behind procuring a fake certificate was to ensure that if in future Mikhail did claim foul play in Sheena’s disappearance or approached police with a missing person’s complaint, he would not be taken seriously,” a senior police officer said.
Mikhail was also admitted to a rehabilitation centre in Pune for around two months in 2010 on “complaints” received by his “parents” of his alleged “abnormal behaviour”, the officer said. Sources said this was a fallout of a heated exchange between Mikhail and Indrani during which he threatened to tell Peter that Sheena and he were her children, not her siblings.
The officer said Peter’s son Rahul — from an earlier marriage — took Sheena, his girlfriend, to Dehradun where his mother Shabnam lives. They got engaged there in December 2011, a ceremony Peter did not attend. The couple planned to marry late 2012 — Sheena was killed on April 24 that year.
Indrani plotted the murder after she failed to dissuade Sheena to end her ties with Rahul, the officer claimed, adding that she even travelled to Kolkata, where Khanna lived, to involve him in the plan.
During questioning on Friday in the presence of Police Commissioner Rakesh Maria, Khanna reportedly said his actions and decisions were under “Indrani’s spell”.
“I did this for her,” Khanna is alleged to have repeated to separate teams of investigators.
A police source said, “Peter’s relationship with his son Rahul also soured after Sheena’s disappearance in April 2012. Two months later, he moved to Dehradun and started living with his mother.”
Indrani explained Sheena’s disappearance saying she had moved to the United States. Rahul has told police that when he reminded Indrani that Sheena’s passport was with him, she claimed her daughter had two passports. Police have recovered her passport.
Police have also sent a skull and skeletal remains collected from Gogade Khurd in Pen taluka a day earlier — this was the place where the body was allegedly dumped — to the J J Hospital’s anatomy department. The hospital will subsequently send samples to the Forensic Science Laboratory ( FSL) in Kalina to ascertain if the remains are Sheena’s.
Mikhail, meanwhile, has told police he was in Mumbai on April 23-24, 2012 — Sheena was killed on April 24 . He claimed he was called by Indrani to the Hilltop Hotel where Khanna was staying. He alleged that the duo spiked his drink and left to meet Sheena. Mikhail woke up and headed to Peter’s house, a police officer said.
Meanwhile, Raigad police Saturday conceded there has been lapses on the part of the Pen police. “There were lapses on the part of the police which failed to record an Accidental Death Register. An inquiry has been launched,” Raigad Superintendent of Police Suvez Haque said.