Former Star India CEO Peter Mukherjea's statement was recorded on Wednesday by the police in connection with the Sheena Bora murder case.
It has been learnt that the police had quizzed Peter's wife Indrani and the other two accused in his presence.
Indrani, her ex-husband Sanjeev Khanna and driver Shyamvar Rai (all arrested in the case) were also brought to the police station.
It is believed that Peter was asked questions for almost 12 hours with regards to the car taken on rent by Indrani and parked in the garage of his Worli residence, and the sale of a television channel he owned and part of the money from the sale that was parked in Sheena's account.
Peter will be called again for further questioning.
Earlier in the day, a Mumbai police team that was in Kolkata, along with their Kolkata counterparts, seized a laptop and papers related to bank accounts and investments of Khanna from his residence.
Apart from the laptop, a pen drive has also been seized to monitor the trail of emails exchanged between Indrani and Khanna.
Indrani 'alive' till Sheena Bora proven dead
With fingers pointing at Indrani Mukherjea’s past, a history of lies about the accused in the Sheena Bora murder case has surfaced.
While some legal experts clearly point out that till the time the remains of the body match with that of Sheena’s, Indrani cannot be held responsible for her murder.
They ask why cannot Indrani produce Sheena Bora in court or why isn’t Sheena Bora not surfacing if she is alive?
Other legal experts also ask to see whether there was an eyewitness that saw Sheena getting into Indrani’s car at National College Bandra the last time anyone saw her alive?
These two cases can add to strong circumstantial evidence other than the car, the suitcase and the driver that the Mumbai Police have.
Hence, it is important to gather a lot of circumstantial evidence to incriminate Indrani in the case and this time around evidence about Indrani faking Sheena’s birthdate, disowning the kids, lying about Sheena being her sister, lying about Sheena going to the USA, could go against her.
How long will it take the Mumbai Police to confirm with the American Embassy if Sheena Bora really left for the US three years ago?
There are different versions of the six messages sent out from Sheena’s phone to Rahul, and only five of them are in public domain yet.
However, the basic point to note in the messages was that Rahul was asked to stay away from Sheena as she had already found someone else in the US and was happy with him.
Clearly as it seems, the police are also letting out some red herrings to different media houses.
“Cops usually have a tendency to let the person being questioned feel that he or she is being trusted a lot and thereby win the trust. Then they use their own tactics to get information,” a former top cop revealed.
The cops have around 90 days to complete their investigation and need not comment till they are sure of what they have, which is why the former cop opined that Mumbai top cop Rakesh Maria had erred in saying that the charred body was indeed Sheena’s, even before an autopsy and DNA test were done to determine it.
As of now, Indrani’s former live-in partner Siddartha Das and current husband Peter Mukherjea have not been interrogated and experts feel that they should be queried only when need be.
As for the present the cops should try and ensure that they get a confession from Indrani.
As this report went to press, a news channel (ABP News) claimed that Indrani had partially agreed to some of the accusations and owned up to killing Sheena Bora.
Official confirmation is still awaited.
If she hasn’t, the cops are going to have a tough time proving several allegations in court. What they can perhaps prove because of a living person is that she could be indicted in an attempt to kill Mikhail Bora, if the charges are proved.
Indrani Mukherjea tells cops nothing
The Mumbai Police have extended the police custody of Indrani Mukherjea and the two other prime accused Sanjiv Khanna and Shyam Rai till September 5.
All three are accused of murdering Sheena Bora.
The Mumbai Police despite all their interrogation haven’t managed to extract a confession from Mukherjea as yet, even though they claim to have broken through the defences of Khanna and Rai.
When Indrani was allowed to meet her second daughter Nidhie in court, the daughter broke down but Indrani remained strong.
Police also claim to have recorded statements of people from whom Mukherjea allegedly purchased various items used in the crime – petrol for the burning the body, and other elements used to dispose Sheena Bora’s body.
Other documents like Sheena’s resignation letter, her passport and documents from Pen where the body was disposed also form part of the police evidence.
The remains dug out at Pen in Raigad are also evidence.
Another bag has reportedly been recovered which was allegedly slated to be a disposal bag for Mikhail Bora’s remains, once he was killed; is something that the brother of the slain Sheena managed to evade.
The police still need to plug a lot of loopholes, right from ascertaining the motive of the crime.
According to Sanjiv Khanna, Skype was used as a medium to plan the conspiracy.
In the meantime Sanjiv Khanna is not being allowed outside food because the cops fear that he may be poisoned and he is a very important asset in their investigation.
The Mumbai Police have made a fourth arrest in the Sheena Bora murder case.
Sheena Bora was murdered in 2012, but the crime was only discovered last week after police arrested Shaym Rai. Rai is Indrani Mukerjea's driver and confessed to the killing with Indrani as the masternind. Indrani is Sheena's mother.
A contract killer, often referred to locally, as a ‘supari’ killer in the crime world has been arrested by the Mumbai police. The police probe led to this killer who was bragging that he had been once given a ‘supari’ to kill Mikhail.
Sources inform that the supari to kill Mikhail was around Rs2.5 lakh.
It is, however, not clear whether any advance had been paid or whether the killing would be done in Mumbai or in Guwahati, where Mikhail lives.
Some claims are also afoot that there were three other plans to kill Mikhail.
As in Sheena’s case, two other theories to kill her were rejected and allegedly Indrani Mukherjea and Sanjiv Khanna settled on the one to drug her and kill her in the car, after rejected the first plan to kill her at the house where she was staying with Rahul, or even at Peter Mukherjea’s Worli flat.
The killer was brought into custody and is being interrogated at the moment by the Mumbai police.
Crowds foil cops
The police who wanted to know the flow of events at the murder scene were foiled by a huge crowd waiting at the village in Raigad, 87 kilometres off Mumbai.
The cops had taken two of the accused, Sanjiv Khanna and Shyam Rai, to Raigad but the presence of a huge crowd who had been informed about the arrival by TV news channels meant that the cops could not do their job and had to leave.
Left: Indrani outside the Mumbai Police station. Right: Co-accused and her ex-husband Sanjeev Khanna. (Sanskriti)
In a murder case that has all of India on edge, the Mumbai Police are now moving to piece together what happened to Sheena Bora in real time.
At the heart of the crime is Indrani Mukerjea, co-founder of broadcasting group INX with husband Peter Mukerjea, who has been arrested for allegedly killing Sheena Bora – who she introduced as her sister.
Sheena Bora was in fact her daughter. Bora was murdered in 2012, but discovered last week after police arrested Shaym Rai, Indrani's driver who confessed to the killing with Indrani as the masternind.
Indrani’s second husband Sanjeev Khanna has also been arrested. Sheena Bora’s brother, Mikhael Bora, has emerged in the case as a possible murder target now.
What really gave the case a spin was the face that Rahul Mukerjea, Peter Mukerjea’s son was engaged to Sheena Bora when she disappeared. They were step siblings.
Now, the police have decided to take the three accused - driver Shyam Rai, Sanjiv Khanna and Indrani Mukherjea - to the crime spot to establish how the murder took place on April 24, 2012.
Indrani vs Sanjiv Khanna, and then Mikhail
Sources claim that Indrani and her former husband Sanjiv are still squabbling and blaming each other for the murder of Sheena Bora, saying that the other was keen on the murder.
Sanjiv Khanna has claimed that he was sleeping when the murder took place in the car, when Sheena was strangled. Investigating sources also said Indrani has told the cops that that it was Sanjiv’s idea.
Khanna, meanwhile, has confirmed that Indrani’s son Mikhail’s could have been the next target.
Indrani, however, was very angry when her son Mikhail confronted her at the cop station after she had spent three days in the cooler and accused him of trying to extort money from her.
Mikhail Bora, brother of the victim Sheena Bora. (Sanskriti)
And that is perhaps the reason why the cops wants to take all three of them to the crime scene to ascertain the flow of events and let all three face each other when the story unfolds.
Media in the know (not)
After being provided with a surfeit of information about the Sheena Bora case, the cops have been nonplussed and puzzled because of the multiple complications.
Also, after a series of stories appearing in the media about the case, the cops are wondering if they are missing anything or whether some of these stories are purely being concocted.
“Some media houses don’t understand the complicity of the situation.
“It is a high-profile murder case and the story about a mother killing her daughter is exciting them.
“They are publishing whatever information they are laying their hands on,” says an investigating source.
“We do not know whether to just follow what we are being told when we interrogate or question people connected to the case, or also believe what we read in the media because Indrani and her husband Peter are also connected to the media who perhaps know them more than what we know them,” he adds.
Investigative journalism flying high
Journalists following the Sheena Bora case are flying high. Several journalists following the story have been hopping airplanes from one city to another, something not seen in Indian journalism before.
The name Avirook Sen is indirectly connected to two murders allegedly committed by parents in India in recent times.
The Arushi Talwar murder case saw parents killing the daughter and was written by journalist and author Avirook Sen in a book ‘Aarushi’.
Avirook it turns out was the man employed by Peter and Indrani Mukherjea to work as channel head for their news channel.
The Mumbai police have traced the car used for the murder and the dumping of the body.
The car apparently has changed many hands in the past three years.
Money, greed and murder
It is a take that could be a sitting duck for filmmakers swooping to scavenge on stories that has all the elements of a thriller – money, greed and murder.
Little wonder that a filmmaker like Mahesh Bhatt who has often displayed clairvoyance in the choice of his movie scripts is making another film on a mother- daughter relationship and murder, against the backdrop off the Sheena Bora murder case.
Peter and Sheena. (Sanskriti)
Investigators of the case are now puzzled with the plethora of information they are being bombarded with.
“We have accusations, defence and counter accusations. The case has so many twists and turns if we have to believe everything we hear,” says one of the investigators.
Mikhail Bora, brother of the victim Sheena Bora, who was allegedly murdered by her own mother, masquerading as her elder sister, told investigators that he too would have been killed on the same day had he not kept his senses after being given a drink laced with sedatives on the day his sister was killed.
Bora claims that he had run away from the scene after he felt that he was drugged.
He claims that he was in the same hotel where Sanjiv Khanna was staying.
For those who tuned in late, the arrest of Indrani’s driver Shyam Rai in an arms case, led to the cops getting wind of a high profile murder in which Rai was also allegedly involved.
The current Mumbai Police Commissioner Rakesh Maria, who had also personally supervised the Neeraj Grover murder case, had looked into the case and even came into question Indrani when she was detained.
Investigations revealed that Rai allegedly had dumped Sheena Bora’s body along with Indrani and her ex- husband Sanjiv Khanna near a cliff in Pen in rural Maharashtra, a few miles away from Mumbai, after scouting the area for a dump site the previous day.
They could not dump the body the previous day due to police checkpoints in the area.
Sheena was killed and then her body dumped in a suitcase, put in the jungle and set on fire in 2012.
Her unidentified body was allegedly discovered after a month by local villagers.
The prime accused in the case, Indrani Mukherjee is married thrice.
Sheena and Mikhail are from her first husband, details of which are not known.
She then married Sanjiv Khanna and divorced him before marrying media baron Peter Mukherjea.
Peter was already married and has two sons, one of whom is Rahul Mukherjea, who was in a relationship with his ‘step-sister’ Sheena, which the family detested.
Early investigations claimed that Sheena was allegedly murdered by her mother because she felt that the relationship between Sheena and Rahul was too incestuous for her liking.
Later, senior cops and investigators mentioned that the entire murder and perhaps more murders could have taken place due to the $120 million estate and monies belonging to Peter Mukherjea which could have gone all over the place if Rahul and Sheena had been united in wedlock.
“The chances of Rahul, Peter and Mikhail also being eliminated could not be ruled out. The case is not as clear as it seems. There have been a few lapses on the part of the police who had buried the body deeming it unidentified, but confessional statements would set the records straight,” claimed investigators.
As reports later came in at the time of going to press, Indrani Mukherjea told cops that Mikhail was not telling the truth and that she had no intention to murder him.
He was basically making false allegations because his pocket money had been stopped.