Sheena murder case: Focus is now on forensic report
Indrani Mukerjea and her husband Peter Mukerjea.
Mumbai - JJ Hospital had on Friday handed over to Khar police a few bones it had received from Raigad Police in 2012.
The focus in the high-profile Sheena Bora murder case has now shifted to the forensic analysis of the skeletal remains found in Raigad district in the western Indian state of Maharashtra where her body was allegedly dumped three years ago.
"We have sent the bones and other skeletal remains for forensic analysis and are awaiting report," a police official said.
JJ Hospital had on Friday handed over to Khar police a few bones it had received from Raigad Police in 2012.
Police are also probing Mikhail Bora's claim that just hours before Indrani and Sanjeev Khanna met Sheena Bora on April 24, 2012 and took her for what would be the last drive of her life, Indrani had also allegedly drugged her son, Mikhail.
Mikhail has claimed that on the pretext of discussing a property deal, he was given a spiked drink in his hotel room in Worli by Indrani and Sanjeev, who then left to meet and murder Sheena.
By the time they came back, the suspicious, groggy Mikhail had fled.
Sanjeev Khanna, the former husband of Indrani Mukherjea, arrested in connection with the Sheena Bora murder case has confessed to his complicity, Mumbai Police chief, Rakesh Maria told reporters here late last night.
"We interrogated the third accused (Khanna) and he has confessed to complicity in the crime. We have also recovered her (Sheena's) passport from Dehradun, which negates the theory that Sheena Bora went to the US," Maria said.
Khanna had earlier been remanded in police custody till August 31 by the Bandra Metropolitan Magistrate court.
Maria said, "We have recovered skeletal remains of Sheena Bora. We will be dispatching the remains for a DNA test."
On Friday, the police had called former Star India CEO Peter Mukerjea and, Indrani Mukerjea's son Mikhail Bora to the Khar police station for questioning.
The police refused to accept a written statement from Peter Mukerjea, and he was told that when the police required, he would be called to answer their queries.
The media baron then left the police station.
Sheena murder case: Khanna confesses, Mikhail submits evidence
As investigators waddled through an intriguing web of lies and deceit in the Sheena Bora murder case, Mumbai Police on Friday took Sanjeev Khanna, a prime accused and former husband of co-accused Indrani Mukherjea, to the spot where the young woman was killed three years ago. Khanna later cracked and confessed to his role in the crime.
Sanjeev Khanna, the former husband of Indrani Mukherjea, arrested in connection with the Sheena Bora murder case is escorted out of Bandra Metropolitan Magistrate after he was produced, in Mumbai on Friday. -PTI
Police, acting on a court order, permitted Indrani to meet her lawyers while in custody, and officers again questioned former media baron Peter Mukherjea-Indrani's husband-and the victim's brother Mikhail, who, after flying into Mumbai from Guwahati, vowed to get justice for his murdered sister.
The probe picked up pace when Khanna, nabbed in Kolkata, was brought here and sent to police custody till August 31.
In a major breakthrough in the murder case, Mumbai Police Commissioner Rakesh Maria told media persons late on Friday that Khanna has cracked and confessed to his role in the crime.
"(Indrani's son) Mikhail Bora has submitted some evidence to us. We are in the process of verifying it," Maria added.
Indrani was arrested on August 25 on charges of killing Sheena on April 24, 2012 along with her driver Shyam Rai and Khanna. She as well as Khanna have denied the charge.
Public Prosecutor Laxman Rathod said police needed to know how Sheena was killed, the vehicle in which she was allegedly murdered before her body was burnt and dumped in the forests near Pen in Raigad district, adjacent to Mumbai.
Seeking custodial interrogation, Rathod said police wanted to take the accused to where Indrani, her driver Shyam Rai and Khanna allegedly poured petrol on Sheena's body and set it on fire. They also needed to know if more people were involved in the killing.
Khanna has been charged with murder, kidnapping, criminal conspiracy, destroying evidence and more. His mobile phone, laptop and passport have been seized but he has denied the police charges.
Rathod told the media that Khanna played "an active role in the case along with the other two accused".
According to police, the macabre deed was allegedly executed by Indrani with help from Khanna and driver Rai.
Police are also browsing the details of incriminating telephone call records of Khanna and Indrani, email exchanges, birth certificates, school records and other documents that have emerged during the investigation.
Rakesh Maria is personally conducting the interrogation of various players including Indrani, Khanna, Rai, Peter Mukherjea, his son Rahul, who admits to having had a relationship with Sheena, and Mikhail for the past three days.
Late on Thursday night, Maria said investigators have a fair idea of the motives behind Sheena's killing.
After interrogation, Maria confirmed that Sheena was indeed the daughter of Indrani, contrary to earlier perceptions that they were siblings.
On Friday afternoon, Khanna was taken to the crime scene near Pen in Raigad district, around 95 km south of Mumbai, to recreate the crime scene.
Maria said skeletal remains of Sheena were recovered from the murder scene and they were being sent for forensic and DNA tests.
Mikhail, who arrived in Mumbai from Guwahati on Friday, provided certain evidence pertaining to his sister's killing which was now being verified.
During the investigation, it also came to light that Indrani's claim of Sheena "studying in the US" was false.
Police have also recovered Sheena's passport from Dehradun.
Meanwhile, the Sir J.J. Hospital handed over to police the bones, nails and other evidences of Sheena which was deposited by Raigad police after her body was found three years back.
Suggesting a pre-planned conspiracy, police have said Indrani had recede Pen area with her driver to pick the exact spot to dispose of her body a day before the actual killing.
Mikhail Bora has said he knows the real reason his sister was murdered and that he will reveal it all at the appropriate time.
There are still more angles that need probing, including who was the unknown caller who tipped off Mumbai Police some time ago about the Sheena murder.
Then, there is the mystery of why, after Sheena's death, letters on her behalf were sent to Mumbai Metro One Pvt. Ltd. - where she worked.
|OTHER HIGH PROFILE MURDER CASES|
2008: Aarushi Talwar, a 14-year-old schoolgirl, and her family's domestic help Hemraj were brutally murdered in a Noida apartment in 2008. Parents, Rajesh and Nupur Talwar - both doctors convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment by a special court in 2012.
2008: Neeraj Grover - Television executive Neeraj Grover was murdered on May 7, 2008 by Kannada actress Maria Susairaj and her then finance Jerome Mathew. Mathew was charged of culpable homicide not amounting to murder and destruction of evidence. Susairaj was found guilty of destruction of evidence.
2006: Nithari Serial Murders - Eight skeletal remains of children were found in the drain of a house at Nithari in Noida in December 2006, leading to the arrest of two primary suspects - the owner of the house, Moninder Singh Pandher, and his domestic help Surinder Koli. In 2009, Koli was convicted and sentenced to death by a special CBI court for the rape and murder of 14-year-old Rimpa Haldar. The SC stayed Koli's death sentence in Jan 2010 and in January 2015, the Allahabad high court commuted the death sentence to life imprisonment.
2002: Nitish Katara was a 25-year-old Indian business executive in Delhi, who was murdered in the early hours of 17 February 2002, by Vikas Yadav, the son of influential criminal-politician D. P. Yadav. Nitish was from IIMT, Ghaziabad, where, he had fallen in love with his classmate, Bharti Yadav, sister of Vikas. The trial court held that Nitish's murder was an honour killing. Vikas and Vishal Yadav were later found guilty by the trial Court and awarded life sentence on 30 May 2008. On April 2, 2014, Delhi High Court upheld the Trial Court verdict of life imprisonment to the accused. In Feb 2015, Delhi High Court on re-appeal on Death Sentence, extended sentence as 25 years rigorous Life Imprisonment.
1999: Jessica Lal Murder Case - Model and celebrity Jessica Lal was shot dead in the early hours of April 30, 1999 at a party in a restaurant in south Delhi. Manu Sharma, son of powerful Congress leader Vinod Sharma from Haryana, was the primary accused but was acquitted by a court in 2006 because of the lack of evidence. Manu Sharma was given life imprisonment.
1999: Shivani Bhatnagar Murder Case - A journalist working for the Indian Express newspaper. Her murder on January 23, 1999 became a scandal that reached into the top levels of Indian politics. IPS officer Ravi Kant Sharma along with Sri Bhagwan Sharma, Satya Prakash and Pradeep Sharma were accused. On October 12, 2011 Delhi High court acquitted Ravi Kant Sharma, Sri Bhagwan Sharma and Satya Prakash saying lack of evidence on appeal. The conviction of Pradeep Sharma was upheld.
1995: Naina Sahni Murder Case - In July 1995, Congress worker Naina Sahni was killed by her husband Sushil Sharma, a Youth Congress leader. Her body was chopped and burned in the tandoor of the restaurant Sharma operated. In October 2013, Sharma was given life imprisonment by the Supreme Court.