ACCUSED TURNED approver Shyamwar Rai, the former driver of Indrani Mukerjea, deposed as the second prosecution witness in the Sheena Bora murder case on Friday. Rai stuck to his statement given to the CBI during the investigation, as well as the one made before a magistrate, that on April 24, 2012, Indrani and her former husband Sanjeev Khanna picked Sheena up from outside Bandra’s National College, strangulated her in the car, which Rai was driving, and later disposed of her body in a village near Khopoli.
Lodged at Thane jail, Rai was produced before court on Friday afternoon as a witness of the CBI.
Rai told the court that he had begun working as a driver for Peter and Indrani in 2004. In March 2012, Indrani allegedly got her secretary to make him a Skype account, said Rai.
“I was connected to Indrani madam through the account for a video chat. She told me that I am a trustworthy person and that I should not reveal anything about what she was going to say. She told me that she would take care of the education of my children as well as the medical expenses of my family.”
“She also told me that I would have permanent employment. She then told me that Sheena and Mikhail (Indrani’s children) were defaming her and that there were also quarrels between them and her over property. She told me that Sheena was also in a relationship with Peter sahab’s son (Rahul),” Rai told the court in his deposition.
He said that she revealed to him that she wanted to murder them and that his job was only limited to being a driver and that he should not worry about anything. Rai further said that Indrani allegedly told him that a man from Kolkata would come to Mumbai to murder them.
Rai then revealed how, on Indrani’s instructions, he lured Mikhail to Mumbai with money and arranged for ‘medicines’ to ensure he fell unconscious before the murder attempt. The plan to murder Mikhail was dropped eventually as he did not lose consciousness despite taking the laced drinks.
A day before Sheena’s murder, said Rai, he and Indrani conducted a recce to find a spot to dispose of her body. On Peter, Rai told court that after the recce, while returning to Mumbai, he had heard Indrani speak with Peter. “Indrani madam was talking with Peter sahab with reference to Sheena and Mikhail. She was talking in English and she said the words, ‘good place’ and ‘well done’,” Rai told the court.
He said that on the next day, on April 24, he drove accused number two Sanjeev Khanna and Indrani to National College in Bandra, from where they picked up Sheena.
He told the court that Rahul had dropped Sheena and seen the three of them in the car.
“Indrani madam offered Sheena water. The two later went to a saree shop and returned in some time. I was asked to drive towards Pali Hill and suddenly there was silence in the car. Indrani madam asked me to halt the car on a side. Khanna, who was sitting next to the driver’s seat, went behind. Indrani madam asked me to come and hold Sheena’s mouth. I turned around to see Khanna holding Sheena’s hair and Indrani madam strangulating her,” Rai said.
After Sheen was killed, her body was kept in a bag in the garage of the Mukerjeas’ Worli home. The next day, the three drove to Khopoli and disposed of the body by burning it, he said.
Rai will continue with his deposition next week. The alleged murder had come to light in 2015 with the arrest of Rai with an unlicensed weapon. Last year, Rai filed an application seeking pardon by turning an approver in the case. His deposition can be used against the other three accused in the case.