MUMBAI: On a day of sensational twists and turns, a web of lies and intriguing relationships emerged in the Sheena Bora murder case in which a former husband of accused Indrani Mukherjea was arrested today as it came to light that the deceased was her daughter and not sister.
The motive of the murder still remains a mystery though Indrani's son Mikhail claimed he knew the real reason but would not disclose it.
Police also claimed that former Star India CEO Peter Mukherjea's wife Indrani was present at the site in Raigad district where Sheena was killed in 2012.
Taking the investigation beyond the state, Mumbai police rrested former husband of Indrani, Sanjeev Khanna, in connection with the case in Kolkata. Sheena is stated to be Indrani's daughter from an earlier marriage with one Siddharth Das.
Khanna, a resident of Hastings Road area in Kolkata, was arrested from his friend's flat in Alipore for his alleged involvement in the murder, Kolkata Police Joint CP (Crime) Pallab Kanti Ghosh said.
Mumbai Police Commissioner Rakesh Maria told reporters here that the murder was by strangulation followed by burning of the body by petrol. The murder took place on 24 April 2012 and the body was found by Raigad police on May 23, he said.
Maria also said that Khanna is an accused in the case.
A shocked Peter Mukherjea said he had believed that the deceased was Indrani's sister and not her daughter while Mikhail said Sheena was the daughter and not the sister of Indrani.
"I have no doubt my mother Indrani killed my sister Sheena Bora," he said, claiming to know the "exact reason" but would not reveal it until his mother confesses to it.
His statement came amid reports that Sheena and Peter's son Rahul through his earlier marriage had been dating each other and Indrani was opposed to it.
Intriguing claims came to light that Indrani had introduced her daughter and son to people as sister and brother. After the murder, she is also said to have claimed that Sheena had gone to the US for higher studies.
Indrani was arrested by Khar Police last night over her alleged role in the murder of Sheena in 2012.
Peter said he would cooperate with investigators in the probe. "I have never experienced anything like this before. The news I am getting, the kind of crime that has been committed, I would have never expected.
"Whatever help, information, police need, I am happy to help them with that. I would be absolutely clear and straight with them and cooperate," he said.
"I don't understand at all with regard to my wife... Sheena Bora is her sister, I believed all these years, and now I am being told that she was her daughter. Whom I thought was her brother, is now her son from an earlier marriage, which I was not aware of. I was aware of one marriage and not so many others. So, now there are number of things that are appearing to me which are completely new to me," he said.
A police officer, who is privy to the probe, told PTI on condition of anonymity that "The driver of Indrani has told police that it was Indrani who killed Sheena and was present at the murder spot."
He, however, said it was still not clear whether the plan was to kill Sheena, 24, in Raigad or any other place.
According to Maria, on August 21, Khar police had arrested Indrani's driver in connection with an Arms Act case, adding he confessed to the murder and was taken to the murder spot.
Mumbai police also summoned Peter's brother Gautam Mukerjea.
After her arrest yesterday, Indrani was produced before Bandra Metropolitan Magistrate court, which remanded her in police custody till August 31.
Sheena was kidnapped from outside the National College in western suburbs. She came here from Assam in 1990s along with Indrani and completed BA Economics from St Xavier's College.
In 2011, she got a job with Reliance Mumbai Metro but suddenly stopped coming to duty, police said. In the same year, her Facebook account was deactivated.
Police had unearthed remains of a decomposed body three years ago after villagers at Gagode in Pen tehsil complained of foul odour emanating from the area.
Peter said he was unaware that Sheena went missing.
"(Sheena's disappearance) is something I am finding out now. I was told that Sheena has gone to the US. I am not on Facebook, but I was shown these pictures of Los Angeles or wherever she was. I didn't have her contact number. My son had told me 'see, something is not right', but I said her parents may not be happy with it, so she might have moved to the US... that I told him... He (Peter's son) didn't talk to me then."
Speaking in Guwahati, Mikhail said he had not heard from his sister since February 2012 and whenever he inquired abouther with his mother she used to say Sheena was in the US.
"There was no contact till 2015. Till yesterday, I did not have any clue... where she was. There was no contact. Till last September, she, Indrani Mukerjea, came here. Then also I asked her... where is my sister... And only yesterday I came to know, from news channels that she has passed away... murder case..."
Mikhail said Sheena had gone to Mumbai alone since she was doing a job there.
On a question about Indrani claiming that Sheena was her sister, he said "I have nothing to state. Because a son to a mother, a daughter to a mother, it can be biologically proved. I don't have to say anything about that. Because she is my mom, after all. And she has given me birth. I don't have to prove that. A DNA report can easily prove that."
On the arrest of his mother and subsequent turns in the case, he said, "I want justice, that's it. Because she is my elder sister. And I know some girl can't be murdered like that. Without any reason...
Asked if he was aware of tussle between her and Indrani, he said, "Many times actually... since a long time actually...But I don't want to say anything clearly right now because I want to see the reaction of the police, how they react and what is the outcome... She is in custody. After that, what report comes, I will decide what to do, the next step, what I have to do.