Mumbai: The beleaguered former media honcho Indrani Mukerjea, arrested for alleged murder of her own daughter Sheena Bora, seems to be headed for deep trouble as prosecution has refused home food to be provided to her citing fears that she could be poisoned. Indrani Mukerjea, accused of strangling her older daughter in 2012, now also faces police charges of attempts to murder her son, Mekhail Bora. The three prime accused in the Sheena murder case were produced before the Bandra magistrate court and their police custody was extended till September 5 after the Mumbai Police told the court about the status of the investigation. Indrani, her former driver Shyam Rai and her ex-husband, Kolkata-based Sanjeev Khanna, are in the custody of the Khar police.
Indrani Mukerjea was brought to a Mumbai court today, where she appeared stoic as her lawyers argued that she is being denied basic rights, including unsupervised consultations with them. Mukerjea’s surviving daughter, Vidhie, still in her teens, broke down in the court-room. The police says that Mukerjea, a former media executive, has admitted during several lengthy interrogation sessions that she “hated” Bora, who, during her 24 years alive, was presented publicly as her mother’s younger sister. Mekhail and she were raised in Guwahati by their maternal grandparents. During this time, Mukerjea married Sanjeev Khanna, a Kolkata businessman with whom she shares a daughter named Vidhie. Then, in 2002, Mukerjea met and married Peter Mukerjea, then CEO of Star Television in India.
Khanna is, along with Mukerjea’s driver, an accused in the case. The police say that he has confessed to his complicity, revealing that Mukerjee persuaded him that the Bora siblings were planning to have Vidhie killed. Mekhail Bora, with whom Mukerjea was confronted over the weekend, was to be eliminated by a Mumbai hitman, the police says. On the day that Bora was killed, Mekhail, who had been summoned to Mumbai allegedly to meet with his sister, had been drugged, he has told the police, claiming that he managed to escape from the hotel where he was staying with Khanna.
Seeking the extension of custody, the prosecutor said police officials suspect the involvement of more people from outside Maharashtra. Khar police also informed the court they wanted to know where Indrani had disposed of Sheena’s mobile and clothes.
While Rai was the first to be arrested on August 21, Indrani was arrested on August 25 – both in Mumbai – and Khanna was nabbed from Kolkata on August 26 and all were sent to police custody till August 31 which is now extended till September 5.
Monday’s hearing was crucial as the Khar police provided an update to the magistrate on the progress in the investigations so far.
Mumbai Police have expressed frustration at the alleged lack of cooperation by Indrani, and the reported claims and counter-claims by Khanna, and both giving evasive replies during questioning.
While Indrani has stood firm and not yet admitted to her role in the crime, Khanna admitted to his complicity within hours of the police being granted his custody last week.
Rai was nabbed in connection with an illegal firearms possession case and during interrogations, he spilled the beans on the Sheena murder case.
Subsequently, Indrani and Khanna were also arrested, and during the investigations, the trio has been interrogated jointly and individually, personally by Mumbai Police Commissoner Rakesh Maria and other senior officials.
On Sunday, the Mumbai Police took Khanna and Rai to the crime spot at Dagode, in the forests near Pen in adjoining Raigad district in an attempt to recreate the entire crime scene.
On the evening of April 24, 2012, Sheena was allegedly killed in a car, her body doused with petrol and then dumped in the desolate jungle area in Raigad.