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Mumbai,Divyesh Nair: The mysterious murder case of Sheena Bora on Wednesday took a different turn. All hell broke loose when information started flowing in that Sheena was allegedly murdered by her own mother – Indrani Mukerjea — and that they weren’t siblings as claimed by the latter on Tuesday when she was arrested.
With all kinds of theories and motives erupting on social media as well as television channels, including alleged incestuous relationships, honour killing and property dispute, the case in now getting more thriller than a Hollywood potboiler.
On Wednesday evening, the Mumbai police claimed to have cracked the case after arresting Indrani’s ex-husband, Sanjeev Khanna, from Kolkata. The police, however, are still trying to investigate the motive behind the alleged murder.
According to Mumbai police sources, they have established the sequence of events that unfolded on the fateful day when Bora was allegedly kidnapped and murdered by her mother and stepfather.
During the interrogation of Indrani, it came to light that on April 24, 2012, Bora was reportedly picked up by Indrani from outside the R D National College in Bandra in a car. Bora’s stepfather and Indrani’s second husband – Sanjeev Khanna – was also present in the car, along with their driver and the first accused, Shayamrao Rai (43).
illustration: Sudhir Shetty
“After Bora boarded the car, they proceeded towards Pen in Raigad district. On the way, Indrani and Khanna strangulated Bora and killed her,” said a senior police officer. “Later, Indrani, Khanna and Rai took Bora’s body to a secluded place in Pen, and in order to conceal the identity of Bora, they poured kerosene on her body, set it afire and quietly left the place,” he said.
On May 24, 2012, locals in Pen found a partly charred body and informed the local police.
For three years, no one got a whiff of the cold-blooded murder of Bora, till August 21 when luck ran out on Indrani. The Khar police, recently acting on a human intelligence, picked up Indrani’s driver Shyamrao Rai for allegedly possessing a weapon with him.
“We arrested Rai after we got a tip-off that he was carrying a 7.56mm pistol, with live rounds. When he was interrogated, he spilled the beans about the murder of Bora, in which he was involved along with Indrani and Khanna,” said Mumbai police commissioner Rakesh Maria. “We have been working on the information for the last two months, and finally when we picked up Rai, he told us about Bora’s murder,” Maria said.
The murder got murkier when they came to know that Bora was not Indrani’s sister but her daughter from her first husband. “There was a lot of confusion initially as Indrani had introduced Bora as her sister to people in Mumbai and even to her current husband Peter Mukerjea. It was later, during sustained interrogation, that Indrani broke down and confessed that Bora is her daughter from her first husband Siddharth Das,” said a senior police officer.
Sanjeev Khanna, a resident of Hastings Road area in the southern part of Kolkata city, was arrested from his friend’s flat in Alipore on Wednesday afternoon for his alleged involvement in the murder of Sheena Bora in 2012.
Kolkata police joint commissioner (crime) Pallab Kanti Ghosh said: “The Mumbai police approached us for help in arresting Khanna, who was initially untraceable.
According to Kolkata police officials, Khanna was grilled by a Mumbai police team for around two hours and on finding discrepancies in his replies, arrested him.