Claiming a breakthrough in the Sheena Bora murder probe, police said Friday they had recovered her passport from the Dehradun home of her boyfriend Rahul Mukerjea’s mother. This, police said, effectively negated the claim of Indrani Mukerjea, Sheena’s mother who has been arrested for her murder, that her daughter was still alive and was settled in the United States.
Indrani is the wife of former Star India CEO Peter Mukerjea. She has been arrested along with her former husband Sanjeev Khanna and her former driver Shyam Rai for Sheena’s murder.
Watch Video: Police Investigation Reveals How Indrani Mukerjea Kept Sheena Bora’s Murder Under Wraps
Claiming Khanna had “confessed” during questioning, Mumbai police commissioner Rakesh Maria told reporters: “This morning, we have recovered the skeletal remains of Sheena Bora. We also recovered Sheena’s passport from Dehradun today. This will negate the theory that Sheena went to the US. We have just interrogated the third accused (Khanna) and he has confessed to his complicity in this crime.”
Police claim Indrani also posed as Sheena after the murder to end ties with Rahul. On April 25, 2012, Rahul received a text message on his phone from ‘Sheena’ which read: “I have found a new guy… I am happy with him and am no more interested in you… settling with him in USA.” This, police claim, was sent a day after Sheena’s murder by Indrani.
“For a week, whenever Rahul tried to reconcile and ask Sheena to give him a ‘second chance’, Indrani used to text the same message,” a police officer said.
The text exchanges between Rahul and ‘Sheena’, in the week following her murder, is being treated by police as “a clinching piece of forensic evidence” against Indrani. Police have gathered evidence to show that Indrani used to narrate the same story of “Sheena settling in USA with her new partner” to anyone who inquired about her whereabouts.
“Whenever any family member made inquiries on Sheena’s whereabouts, Indrani would say Sheena has moved to the US and has settled with a new guy, and that she was happy with him. If anyone probed further about the new man in Sheena’s life, she would say Sheena had not shared the name or details of the person she was living with in the US,” a police source said.
“A few members of Indrani’s family, including current husband Peter and Sheena’s brother Mekhail, have reproduced ‘Indrani’s alibi’ during the course of questioning,” the source said. “Even to us, during the initial stages of interrogation, she stuck to the same version, maintaining that Sheena was alive. When we asked her to share a phone number or contact details, she replied, ‘Sheena did not share anything with me’,” the source said.
“But she is now trying to shift the blame on the driver, claiming that he might had murdered Sheena,” the source said.
Police said Rahul, during questioning, said he did not find Indrani’s reply satisfactory and tried to lodge a missing person’s complaint at Khar and Worli police stations but failed.
“The then duty officer had inquired with Indrani who said Sheena had left for the US. Therefore, no complaint was registered,” the source said.
Police claim they have also zeroed-in on the motive for the murder. Sources said while Indrani felt insecure over Sheena’s decision to marry Rahul and refused to give consent, the decision to kill her was taken after Sheena allegedly blackmailed Indrani on her relationship with second husband Sanjeev Khanna and threatened to ‘tell’ Peter about it. Indrani married Peter in 2002 after a bitter divorce with Khanna with whom she had a daughter, Vidhie, who was adopted by Peter.
Police claim that while Peter had accepted Rahul’s relationship with Sheena, Indrani was the only family member who protested. “Her consent would have meant that Sheena would be party to Peter’s fortunes. Indrani was against this. She viewed Sheena as a competitor. Many a times she tried telling Sheena that Rahul was not a good match for her as he was not serious in life. But Sheena did not pay heed and continued her relationship with Rahul,” the source claimed.
Meanwhile, police have got in touch with a taxi-service that provided a vehicle used in the crime. An SUV was booked for April 23 to 25, 2012 by driver Shyam. It was in this vehicle that Sheena was allegedly strangled. Her body was also ferried in the same vehicle to the Pen forest. Rai returned the vehicle on April 25 night. Police said he had paid cash in advance for the rental.
“We don’t know if we will get any forensic evidence from the vehicle after three years but we are going to study footage from CCTV cameras on all roads and toll booths taken by the accused between April 23 and April 25, 2012. The footage, if it exists, will be irrefutable forensic evidence to stitch the sequence of events,” a police source said.
Watch Video: Who’s who in the Sheena Bora murder case
Police said Rai worked as driver with the Mukerjeas for almost eight years before quitting in 2012. Since then, he had been driving an autorickshaw in the suburbs.
Meanwhile, a police team returned from Guwahati with an affidavit filed by Indrani stating that Sheena and Mekhail are her children from her first husband S Das. The affidavit was filed in 1993 before she married Khanna. This, police said, confirms the biological relationship between the accused and the victim.
Police said the questioning of the driver and Khanna also revealed how Sheena was killed. “Sheena was asked by Indrani to accompany her to a dinner in a Bandra hotel. When they met, she saw Sanjeev and Indrani seated on the rear seats. Sheena took the front seat next to the driver,” a police source said. She had water that was spiked with sedatives. Police claim a stole was then used to strangle her.
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