Just over three years after Mumbai resident Sheena Bora went missing, the police today arrested her sister Indrani Mukerjea for murder. Indrani is wife of ex-CEO of Star TV Peter Mukerjea and the couple founded INX network. A team of police officers visited her Worli residence and took Indrani into custody.
Seeking her remand at Bandra Metropolitan Magistrate’s court, the police claimed that Indrani’s arrest was neccesary after they found specific leads showing her allegedly linked to the kidnapping of Sheena and the disposing of her body after setting her ablaze.
Indrani’s lawyers, who appeared in court, argued that she was “falsely implicated” and moved the court for her bail.
Sources said the case came to light when a man named Shyam Rai was picked up in a case involving an unidentified pistol, During interrogation, police said, he talked about a charred body buried in Lonavala. “It was during his interrogation that he revealed his involvement in a 2012 murder (Sheena Bora’s) case,” said a senior official.
Incidentally, a missing person’s complaint was filed in May 2012 at the Khar police station after Sheena, who then lived at Union Park Colony, went missing. Around the same time, an Accident Death Report (ADR) was filed at Raigad’s Pen Police Station about a woman whose partially charred body parts were found close to a farm house in Lonavala.
While the case remained an ADR until date, Rai’s interrogation led the Mumbai Police to a spot near Tiger Point early this week. “He (Rai) revealed that he was a driver for Indrani and had helped her murder and dump the body in a field around a farmhouse,” said a police official.
With Rai as guide, a team of officers reached the location where the body was dumped. “We connected the dots as we found a body there based on his claims,” said an officer. “Her partial skeletal remains were found buried and these have been sent for forensic tests.” Experts will now assess the remains and conduct DNA tests.
Investigators said that the motive, at this stage, is a possible property dispute but “we are also looking at possible enmity over a personal relationship.”
Shyam Rai and Indrani were produced today at Bandra Court at 4.30 pm where they were remanded in police custody until August 31. Police have told the court that they suspect “more people could be involved.”
Speaking to The Indian Express over the phone, Peter Mukerjea said he was shocked over the arrest of his wife. “The police will not make up a case and they would arrest a person only after they have something against her. They told us that she is being taken to a police station in connection with a case.”
“There was nothing amiss in my wife’s conduct and the two shared a very normal relationship like any other siblings. I am shocked to learn about the arrest,” he said. He said he did not recall details of the missing person’s complaint registered in May 2012 for Sheena. He said he didn’t know of any farmhouse that Indrani’s family owned or visited in Raigad.