The murder of 24-year-old Sheena Bora took a new and murkier turn on Wednesday as Indrani Mukerjea, the prime accused and Sheena's mother, told the special CBI court that her husband Peter Mukerjea might have framed her and sought his call data record.
Though she did not directly accuse Peter — a former media baron — of killing Sheena, Indrani said he and their former driver Shyamwar Rai could be behind her abduction, disposing the body and destroying evidence.
This latest development further complicates the case which came to light in August 2015 when the driver Rai, arrested in an arms case, spilled the beans. Mumbai Police arrested Rai, Indrani and her former husband Sanjeev Khanna at the time. Peter Mukerjea was also arrested later. It is alleged that Indrani killed Sheena because she disapproved of her relationship with Peter's son Rahul.
Here's a look at the various versions of Sheena Bora's murder that have emerged during the course of the investigation and trial:
Indrani Mukerjea's version
In her application to the CBI court on Wednesday, Indrani alleged that her husband Peter and others, may have framed her and influenced witnesses and situations that led to her arrest.
"I have strong reasons to believe that Peter, with the assistance of other persons, including (accused turned approver) Shyamwar Rai may have conspired and abducted my daughter Sheena in 2012 and made her untraceable and subsequently destroyed evidence," she said in an application.
Indrani said she believes that Peter and others may have manipulated the situation to frame her and influence witnesses, circumstances and information that led to her arrest "for the heinous crime that they may have committed, aided and abetted".
"I am convinced that if we are able to obtain the call data record of Peter, we will be in a better position to ascertain if Peter and other persons were involved in the disappearance of my daughter Sheena and there will be more clarity if Peter and other persons have a role in framing me," she said in the application.
Driver Shyamwar Rai's version
In October 2017, Rai told the CBI court that Indrani was sitting on Sheena's lap when the murder took place and that he helped muffle her screams. Rai was initially the accused before turning approver for the prosecution and alleged Indrani planned the murder with her ex-husband Sanjeev Khanna.
He said though Sheena had bitten his thumb when he covered her mouth with his hand (when she was killed), he didn't take any treatment for it afterwards. After she bit him, Rai said, he took off his hand, but he doesn't know if anybody else tried to cover Sheena's mouth then. Sheena did not make any noise after he had removed his hand, he told the court.
"When I was asked to close Sheena's mouth I did not tell her (Indrani) that I will not do so as my job is that of a driver," Rai told the special CBI judge JC Jagdale.
Earlier in July 2017, Rai claimed that Indrani had informed him that she wanted to kill her daughter Sheena and step-son Mikhail.
Rai said that Indrani told him about her plans to murder her two children via a Skype call and asked for his help. He further added that Indrani wanted to kill both of them as they were maligning her image in the society.
Sheena also threatened to expose the truth that Indrani was their mother and not their sister as the latter had claimed.
CNN-News 18 quoted Rai as saying,"She (Indrani) then asked me to open the garage and the bag carrying Sheena's body. Khanna and I took the bag out and kept it in the back. Madam then asked me to switch off my mobile phone. We then left on the Pen road. She asked me stop at a petrol pump on the road. I stopped the car and got petrol in a can."
Rai further admitted to he helped Indrani get rid of the body in a forest in Raigad: "I along with Indrani and her husband Sanjeev Khanna, left to dispose of Sheena’s body and burnt it in a forest in Gagode village of Raigad district on 24 April, 2012.”
Peter Mukerjea's version
Founder of INX Media, Peter claimed that he was never against Sheena and Rahul's, his son from an earlier marriage, relationship.
Peter earlier said, when Indrani was arrested in August 2015, that he had no knowledge of Sheena being Indrani's daughter. "I’m still holding out a little hope that this is all some big mistake,’ said Peter in his initial statements and that he was ‘dumbstruck by the level of criminality…" according to DNA.
He also claimed to know about the affair between Sheena Bora and his son Rahul Mukherjea and had no qualms about it as both were consenting adults. When initially interrogated by the police, Peter had said that he had no information about the killing and had no direct or indirect connection with it. He also said that he was in Europe in 2012. He added that his wife and driver did not mention anything about the killing. He further added that his son Rahul had told him about the incident but he did not believe him.
He also claimed that he didn't have a clue that Indrani was in touch with her ex-husband Sanjeev Khanna, and that Indrani had shown him e-mails from Sheena which were from the US at the time.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) took over the case in September 2015. In its 1,000 page chargesheet, the agency said that Peter was aware of the murder and in constant touch with Indrani prior to, during and after the killing from London.
Both Peter and Indrani were against Sheena and Rahul's relationship and were "equal participants" in the conspiracy to murder her, according to the Hindustan Times. After disposing Sheena's body, Indrani reportedly spoke to Peter for 924 seconds.
The CBI had arrested Indrani, Sanjeev, Rai and Peter in connection with Sheena Bora's murder.
With inputs from PTI
Published Date: Nov 16, 2017 10:05 AM | Updated Date: Nov 16, 2017 10:08 AM