MUMBAI: The Mumbai police team, probing the mysterious Sheena Bora murder, have a lot to thank Ganesh Dhene, a village official in Pen tehsil of Raigad district, for helping them locate the spot where Sheena was allegedly buried in 2012.
A team of police, forensic experts and villagers had yesterday exhumed skeletal remains after Dhene, a Police Patil, identified the exact spot where Sheena's body was allegedly dumped in the forests there three years ago. Early last morning, the team of police officials and forensic experts from Mumbai had reached Gagode Budruk village in Pen teshil and the digging had started around 6 am.
They learnt of Police Patil Ganesh Dhene of Hetevne village, who was present when the body was found at the crime scene on May 23, 2012, and also when it was later buried there by the police the same day. Dhene, who has been Police Patil since 2011, remembered that the body was buried near a mango tree in 2012, which helped identify the spot and led the team there. Around noon, having dug just a couple of feet into the ground, the team sighted a portion of the skeleton sticking out.
As per the Bombay Village Police Act, a Police Patil is directly subordinate to the Police department and the taluka magistrate. In case a crime is committed in the limits of village, he makes immediate report to the police station and renders necessary help to the police officer to detect the offender.
After packing the skeletal remains in plastic bags, the team left for Mumbai at around 2 PM yesterday. "We have recovered skeletal remains of Sheena Bora. We will be dispatching the remains for a DNA test," Mumbai Police Commissioner Rakesh Maria had said yesterday.
Sheena's mother, Indrani Mukherjee is believed to have killed her, allegedly by strangulating, with help from driver S P Rai and ex-husband Sanjeev Khanna on April 24, 2012. During interrogation, Rai had said that he had helped Indrani in disposing of the body by dumping it in the forests of Raigad district.
Though Sheena, the daughter of high-profile media professional Indrani Mukerjea, was allegedly murdered in 2012 and her body disposed of in Raigad district, the crime came to light only recently. The police have arrested Indrani, her former husband Sanjeev Khanna, and driver Shyam Rai in the case.
Dayal said "We are gathering all the necessary information and will act against the officials concerned (of Raigad police) if it is found that they botched up the case (when the body was found)." The remains found from the forest in Pen tehsil of Raigad have been sent for DNA test. Meanwhile, the focus in the case shifted to the forensic analysis of the skeletal remains.
Police also continued their interrogation of the victim's Indrani, Khanna and the driver to more details of the crime and the motive. The bones and other skeletal remains found from the forest have been sent to DNA test, whose result is going to be crucial in further stages of the case "We have sent the bones and other skeletal remains for forensic analysis and are awaiting report," a police official said.
JJ Hospital had yesterday handed over to Khar police a few bones it had received from Raigad Police in 2012. Blood and hair samples of Indrani and Mikhail Bora have also been collected and sent to Forensic Science Laboratory, and the report expected in 3 to 4 days. The investigation had gained further momentum with the arrest of Khanna, who according to Mumbai Police chief Rakesh Maria, had confessed to his complicity in the murder.
On Friday, the police had also briefly questioned Indrani's husband and former Star India CEO Peter Mukerjea at the Khar police station, scene of action for the last four days. 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. Khanna had earlier claimed that he was sleeping when 24-year-old Sheena was murdered and found her dead in the vehicle.
The police also claimed that Sheena's passport was recovered from Dehradun , negating the theory that she went to the US. While seeking custody of Khanna, police had contended that Indrani, her driver and Khanna abducted Sheena in a car and took her to a forest in Pen thehsil where they killed her allegedly by strangulation and then poured petrol on her body and burnt it in the forest.
Indrani had claimed that Sheena was her sister till she was arrested questioned earlier this week. During her interrogation, it emerged that Sheena was her daughter, which was also claimed by Sheena's brother Mikhail. Police had earlier questioned Rahul Mukerjea, Peter Mukerjea's son by another marriage, who allegedly had a relationship with Sheena, which Indrani disapproved of.
The investigators are also looking into financial angle as one of the motives in the murder which took place on April 24, 2012 with the alleged involvement of Khanna in the crime. A team of police, forensic experts and villagers had yesterday exhumed skeletal remains after Dhene, a police patil, identified the exact spot where Sheena's body was allegedly dumped.
Ganesh Dhene, a village official in Pen tehsil of Raigad district, helped police to locate the body of Sheena, allegedly buried in forest there in 2012.