MUMBAI: Amid speculation that money could be a motive behind Sheena Bora’s alleged murder, the Mumbai police on Wednesday questioned her stepfather Peter Mukerjea, former CEO of Star India, on his financial transactions and property. The police examined crucial documents pertaining to transactions made by Peter and his accused wife Indrani as well as the property they own in India and abroad.
According to an officer, the police examined papers recovered from Peter’s house in Worli detailing money transactions after the Mukejeas quit INX Media in 2009. They also obtained details of his property in Bristol, Spain and Mumbai. They found some handwritten notes by Indrani in Peter’s bedroom.
Peter reached Khar Police Station around 10.45 am and stayed in the questioning room till 8 pm. The police reached his residence in Worli in search of the documents on his insistence. He told the investigators that he could not remember everything and needed to go through the documents for reference before stating something which could provide a direction to the investigation.
An officer said Peter wanted to prove that he had not parked any cash in Sheena’s name in foreign banks. He also claimed that it was Indrani and not he who used to handle calls when it came to financial matters. “We are going to return the papers to him,” said the officer.
The police believe that Indrani killed Sheena because she wanted to safeguard her social as well as financial interests. As the grapevine goes, the Mukerjeas had allegedly raised `600 crore by selling their stake in INX Media. A large sum was transferred in the names of Indrani and Sheena. Indrani killed Sheena since she feared that Sheena, who was in a relationship with Peter’s son from his first marriage, Rahul, would not only reveal her (Indrani’s) disturbed past to Peter but also take away the money leaving her without fame and wealth.
The investigation has revealed that the Opel Astra car in which Indrani and her ex-husband Sanjeev Khanna allegedly strangled Sheena on April 24, 2012, was purchased in Peter’s name. Peter told the police that he was in the UK when the alleged murder took place. The police are likely to question him again.
The police also allowed Indrani to meet her lawyers for around 20 minutes in their presence. During the meeting, Indrani reportedly told her counsel that Mikhail was her adopted son and not biological offspring. Her live-in partner for three years, Siddharth Das, had on Tuesday said both Sheena and Mikhail were born to him and Indrani. Indrani also reportedly told her lawyers that Mikhail’s claim that she and Khanna had planned to kill him was false. The police said Indrani has three passports, including a Canadian one.
The police have also traced at least 20 heated e-mails exchanged between Indrani and Sheena, days before the alleged murder. They had earlier seized Indrani’s laptop and hope that the e-mails would throw light on the motive for the alleged murder.
Meanwhile, experts at BL Nair Hospital, where bones retrieved from the forest at Pen in Raigad district were preserved, said they belonged to a woman aged 22–25. The police believe that they were Sheena’s. She was 24 at the time of the alleged murder.
The police brought eyewitness Ganesh Dhine, who had seen a body burning in the Pen forest, to Mumbai. They also brought three officers from the Pen police station for inquiry on why they did not register an accidental death case when they found the body, and buried it instead.