When former Star India CEO Peter Mukerjea's wife Indrani Mukerjea was arrested on Tuesday night on charges of murdering her 'sister' Sheena Bora, it looked like any other murder case involving the country's rich and the famous. However, much has happened since last night with skeletons tumbling out of the closet one after the other.
Indrani was arrested from her home in Mumbai, after her driver confessed that he had killed Sheena following his employer's orders.
There are conflicting reports about the driver's account. One claims that during interrogation, the driver claimed that Indrani had killed Bora and that he had just helped her in disposing the body by dumping it in the forests of Raigad district. The report attributes the quote to an officer at Khar police station, who is part of the investigation team.
"The case being more than two years old, where there isn't any DNA sample of the deceased or appropriate remains of the body, police are only relying on co-accused's statement," the officer said.
Raigad police had come across an unidentified body, which they had disposed of without collecting DNA samples, he said.
Mumbai Police Commissioner Rakesh Maria had interrogated Indrani at Khar police station on Tuesday. The officer said they would take the two accused to the spot where the body was dumped.
Meanwhile, Indrani was produced before Bandra Metropolitan Magistrate court, which remanded her in police custody till August 31, DCP (Detection) Dhananjay Kulkarni said today.
The police reached the doors of Peter Mukerjea too, according to CNN-IBN, for questioning on Wednesday and also arrested her first husband from Kolkata. Indrani's chauffeur, 43-year-old Shyam Rai, too has been placed under custody.
Here's what we found out about the case through the course of the day:
Sheena was Indrani's daughter, not sister:
While initial reports said that Sheena was Indrani's sister, it turns out that she was her daughter. According to Times Now, Indrani confessed to the police that Sheena was her daughter. (Read more here)
According to The Telegraph, Indrani's relatives too confirmed to the paper that Sheena was actually her daughter. The accused also has a son from a "relationship with a person who divided his time between Calcutta and Tripura". Later, Indrani was married to a man who had businesses in Kolkata and Jamshedpur.
The Telegraph reports: "Sheena and her brother, who works in an airline now, were brought up by their maternal grandparents in Guwahati. The children eventually moved to Mumbai and Sheena did her graduation from St. Xavier's College there. After Indrani married Peter, who made a name for himself at the helm of STAR India and during whose tenure the blockbuster Kaun Banega Crorepati was launched, Sheena moved in with the family. The family friend said Sheena, who was known as Indrani's sister, became close to Peter's son from an earlier marriage. It is not clear whether the alleged relationship played any role in Sheena's death."
Indrani's son Mikhail speaks out:
Meanwhile news channels also spoke to Mikhail Bora, Sheena's brother who confirmed the fact that Indrani was their mother.
When asked whether Indrani and Sheena had any reason for conflict, he said,"Yes, many times." However, he refused to specify what the arguments between the two were regarding. He told CNN-IBN that he didn't believe that the murder had anything to do with property or money.
"I want her to reveal everything herself... After 31 September when I come to know that she has admitted everything. If she lies, I will give every evidence. I have all the evidence and photos. I will provide it to the media," he said.
Speaking to Times Now, Bora said that his sister had been living with him and his grandparents in Guwahati for a long time and Indrani had been living in Mumbai. He said that Sheena had gone to Mumbai to study in St Xavier's college after which she had been working in Mumbai.
"In 2012 she came here for a wedding of her friend. After that she has no contact," he said. Mikhail said that he had always asked his mother where his elder sister was but had received vague answers. "She always replied she was abroad. She said she (Sheena) had got a job there," he told the channel.
He said that he had stopped asking questions about Sheena since he was dependent on funds from Indrani to take care of his ailing grandparents and she had threatened to cut him off. (read more here)
What Indrani's husband Peter Mukerjea said:
Indrani's husband Peter has now gone on to say that he was completely unaware of the whole ordeal and was in a 'state of shock'.
Reacting to the revelations, Peter had said to CNN-IBN that he had no clue about this fact. He further said that Sheena and her son were introduced to him as Indrani as her siblings. He added that the revelations are shocking to him.
Peter claimed that Sheena had an affair with his younger son and that Indrani did not approve of their relationship. He said that he did not know about the conversations between Sheena and Indrani used to be in Assamese, and so he did not understand them.
"When she disappeared in 2012, I was told that she was studying in the US. I asked Indrani and she showed me pictures of Sheena at a Diwali function there," Mukherjea said.
Admitting that he was completely stumped by the police action of nabbing Indrani Mukherjea, he said: "I am dumbstruck by this level of criminality..."
Theories behind the murder
Tehelka suggests that it may not have been Bora getting involved with her stepson which may have enraged Indrani enough to have Sheena killed.
It may have got to do with something bigger than that - and what's bigger motive for murder than money? According toTehelka, the Mukerjeas had siphoned a lot of money from INX media, a company they later stepped down from. To avoid suspicion, a lot of this money had been transferred to their relatives' accounts. One of those accounts may have belonged to Sheena Bora, who later refused to return the money.
Tehelka reports: "Singapore based company Temasek invested in the the media company of the Mukherjea’s and after the global recession, Temasek got the media company audited. It was found out during this audit that Peter and Indrani had siphoned of huge sums of money from the company in the name of various family members, including Peter’s brother Gautam Mukherjea who brings out the magazine Planet Goa."
How Sheena went missing
Sheena studied in St Xavier's College in Mumbai, and according to her LinkedIn profile, was employed with Reliance ADAG when she disappeared in 2012. She was 24-years-old at the time.
A missing persons complaint had been filed in May 2012 at the Khar police station after Sheena, who lived in the suburb was untraceable.
According to an Indian Express report, around the same time the police had found partially burned remains of a woman's body near a farm house in Lonavala.
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Updated Date: Aug 28, 2015 12:21:21 IST