MUMBAI: Media baron Peter Mukherjea's son Rahul Mukerjea was today questioned by Mumbai Police for a second time within 12 hours to unravel the complex web of linkages in the Sheena Bora murder case as he was in a relationship with the deceased.
Mumbai Police Commissioner Rakesh Maria is personally involved in the investigation being conducted by Khar police in suburban Mumbai. He had earlier questioned accused Indrani Mukherjea, mother of Sheena. The investigators are also planning to question officials of Mumbai Metro One Pvt Ltd (MMOPL), where 24-year-old Sheena was working as an assistant manager since June 20, 2011.
Rahul, Peter Mukherjea's son from an earlier marriage, was quizzed late last night by the police. According to police officials, Rahul was today again grilled about his 'relationship' with Sheena and also over the reasons for not pursuing the missing complaint about her. Rahul was also taken to two flats in suburban Bandra and Khar where he had allegedly spent some time with Sheena when they were seeing each other, they said.
Rahul and Sheena were said to have been dating for over a year, which Mukherjea's wife and the main accused, Indrani, did not like. Joint Police Commissioner (Law and Order), Deven Bharti, said, "We will also seek details from Reliance Metro officials about Sheena's profile, which would give vital information related to the case."
Sheena had taken leave of absence on April 24, 2012, and, while she was on leave, sent in her written resignation, MMOPL had said yesterday in its statement. "When Sheena had taken leave of absence on April 24 and was murdered on the same day, then this is very much clear that her resignation letter or email was sent by someone else," said a police officer requesting anonymity.
"We would be inquiring with Reliance Metro officials over what reasons were cited in her resignation and did she resign through email or by sending hard copy letter. Did MMOPL officials try to verify the resignation letter and contact Sheena's next of kin to know about her resignation? "What did the HR team of Reliance Metro do to make full and final settlement of Sheena's job and what is the current status? These are few queries that we would be putting forth to officials apart from why did Metro not inform it to the nearest police station about Sheena suddenly going missing from her job," the officer added.
Meanwhile, Indrani's former husband Sanjeev Khanna, who was arrested from Kolkata yesterday, will be produced in a court here today, police said. 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.
Sheena was kidnapped from outside the National College in western suburbs of Mumbai. She came here from Assam in 1990s along with Indrani and completed BA Economics from St Xavier's College. In June 2011, she got a job with Reliance Mumbai Metro but suddenly stopped coming to duty after some time, 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 smell emanating from the area. According to Rakesh Maria, the victim was strangulated to death and her body set afire after pouring petrol. The murder took place on April 24, 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. Police also claimed that the former Star India CEO's wife Indrani, 43, was present at the site in Raigad district where Sheena was killed. Now, they are also probing the honour killing angle.
"Although the motive behind the murder still remains a mystery, we are probing all the angles as we strongly suspect honour killing in this case," said a police inspector. As investigators dug deeper into the mystery of the death of the 24-year-old, a complex web of lies and relationships unravelled and it emerged that Sheena was Indrani's daughter and not sister as maintained earlier.
The victim is stated to be Indrani's daughter from an earlier marriage with one Siddharth Das. Intriguing claims also 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.
Peter had yesterday said he had all along believed that the victim was Indrani's sister and not daughter while the accused's son Mikhail said Sheena was the daughter and not the sister of Indrani. "I have no doubt my mother Indrani killed my sister Sheena Bora," Mikhail said in Guwahati. He claimed to know the "exact reason" but said that he would not reveal it until his mother confesses to it before the police.
Mikhail said he had not heard from his sister since February, 2012, and whenever he inquired about her with his mother she used to say Sheena was in the US. Stating that he would co-operate with the police in the investigation, Peter had said, "Whatever help, information, police need, I am happy to help them with that. I would be absolutely clear and straight with them and cooperate."
Peter said he was unaware that Sheena had gone 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."
Indrani was arrested by Khar Police on August 25 over her alleged role in the murder of Sheena in 2012. After her arrest, she was produced before Bandra Metropolitan Magistrate court, which remanded her in police custody till August 31. According to police, Indrani's driver Shyam has claimed that it was Indrani who killed Sheena and was present at the murder spot.
A vital lead was obtained by police On August 21 when Shyam was arrested in connection with an Arms Act case and, during interrogation, confessed to the murder and was taken to the murder spot. Mumbai Police has also summoned Peter's brother Gautam Mukherjea in connection with the case. The city police have also seized the passport of Indrani besides her laptop and mobile phone.