Sheena Bora murder: Indrani did it, but there are more actors in the script

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. The Mumbai police now believe it to be of Bora’s. The local police, which recovered the body, registered an accidental death report (ADR) and later disposed the unclaimed body. “The body that was found by the locals was half-burnt and then the local police disposed it of as no one claimed the body,” said an officer privy to the investigation.

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. Then he was found from his friend’s flat on Pen Road in Alipore area and arrested. The Mumbai police were willing to take Khanna away to Mumbai on Wednesday but we insisted that they produce Khanna in a local court and seek his transit remand on Thursday,” Ghosh said.

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.


One Response to Sheena Bora murder: Indrani did it, but there are more actors in the script

  1. When former Star India CEO Peter Mukerjea’s wife Indrani Mukerjea was arrested on Tuesday night on charges of murdering her ‘sister’ Sheena Bora, it looked like any other murder case involving the country’s rich and the famous. However, much has happened since last night with skeletons tumbling out of the closet one after the other.
    Indrani was arrested from her home in Mumbai, after her driver confessed that he had killed Sheena following his employer’s orders.

    There are conflicting reports about the driver’s account. One claims that during interrogation, the driver claimed that Indrani had killed Bora and that he had just helped her in disposing the body by dumping it in the forests of Raigad district. The report attributes the quote to an officer at Khar police station, who is part of the investigation team.
    “The case being more than two years old, where there isn’t any DNA sample of the deceased or appropriate remains of the body, police are only relying on co-accused’s statement,” the officer said.
    Raigad police had come across an unidentified body, which they had disposed of without collecting DNA samples, he said.
    Mumbai Police Commissioner Rakesh Maria had interrogated Indrani at Khar police station on Tuesday. The officer said they would take the two accused to the spot where the body was dumped.
    Meanwhile, Indrani was produced before Bandra Metropolitan Magistrate court, which remanded her in police custody till August 31, DCP (Detection) Dhananjay Kulkarni said today.
    The police reached the doors of Peter Mukerjea too, according to CNN-IBN, for questioning on Wednesday and also arrested her first husband from Kolkata. Indrani’s chauffeur, 43-year-old Shyam Rai, too has been placed under custody.
    Here’s what we found out about the case through the course of the day:
    Sheena was Indrani’s daughter, not sister:
    While initial reports said that Sheena was Indrani’s sister, it turns out that she was her daughter. According to Times Now, Indrani confessed to the police that Sheena was her daughter. (Read more here)
    According to The Telegraph, Indrani’s relatives too confirmed to the paper that Sheena was actually her daughter. The accused also has a son from a “relationship with a person who divided his time between Calcutta and Tripura”. Later, Indrani was married to a man who had businesses in Kolkata and Jamshedpur.
    The Telegraph reports: “Sheena and her brother, who works in an airline now, were brought up by their maternal grandparents in Guwahati. The children eventually moved to Mumbai and Sheena did her graduation from St. Xavier’s College there. After Indrani married Peter, who made a name for himself at the helm of STAR India and during whose tenure the blockbuster Kaun Banega Crorepati was launched, Sheena moved in with the family. The family friend said Sheena, who was known as Indrani’s sister, became close to Peter’s son from an earlier marriage. It is not clear whether the alleged relationship played any role in Sheena’s death.”
    Indrani’s son Mikhail speaks out:
    Meanwhile news channels also spoke to Mikhail Bora, Sheena’s brother who confirmed the fact that Indrani was their mother.
    When asked whether Indrani and Sheena had any reason for conflict, he said,”Yes, many times.” However, he refused to specify what the arguments between the two were regarding. He told CNN-IBN that he didn’t believe that the murder had anything to do with property or money.
    “I want her to reveal everything herself… After 31 September when I come to know that she has admitted everything. If she lies, I will give every evidence. I have all the evidence and photos. I will provide it to the media,” he said.
    Speaking to Times Now, Bora said that his sister had been living with him and his grandparents in Guwahati for a long time and Indrani had been living in Mumbai. He said that Sheena had gone to Mumbai to study in St Xavier’s college after which she had been working in Mumbai.
    “In 2012 she came here for a wedding of her friend. After that she has no contact,” he said. Mikhail said that he had always asked his mother where his elder sister was but had received vague answers. “She always replied she was abroad. She said she (Sheena) had got a job there,” he told the channel.
    He said that he had stopped asking questions about Sheena since he was dependent on funds from Indrani to take care of his ailing grandparents and she had threatened to cut him off. (read more here)
    What Indrani’s husband Peter Mukerjea said:
    Indrani’s husband Peter has now gone on to say that he was completely unaware of the whole ordeal and was in a ‘state of shock’.
    Reacting to the revelations, Peter had said to CNN-IBN that he had no clue about this fact. He further said that Sheena and her son were introduced to him as Indrani as her siblings. He added that the revelations are shocking to him.
    Peter claimed that Sheena had an affair with his younger son and that Indrani did not approve of their relationship. He said that he did not know about the conversations between Sheena and Indrani used to be in Assamese, and so he did not understand them.
    “When she disappeared in 2012, I was told that she was studying in the US. I asked Indrani and she showed me pictures of Sheena at a Diwali function there,” Mukherjea said.
    Admitting that he was completely stumped by the police action of nabbing Indrani Mukherjea, he said: “I am dumbstruck by this level of criminality…”
    Theories behind the murder
    Tehelka suggests that it may not have been Bora getting involved with her stepson which may have enraged Indrani enough to have Sheena killed.
    It may have got to do with something bigger than that – and what’s bigger motive for murder than money? According toTehelka, the Mukerjeas had siphoned a lot of money from INX media, a company they later stepped down from. To avoid suspicion, a lot of this money had been transferred to their relatives’ accounts. One of those accounts may have belonged to Sheena Bora, who later refused to return the money.
    Tehelka reports: “Singapore based company Temasek invested in the the media company of the Mukherjea’s and after the global recession, Temasek got the media company audited. It was found out during this audit that Peter and Indrani had siphoned of huge sums of money from the company in the name of various family members, including Peter’s brother Gautam Mukherjea who brings out the magazine Planet Goa.”
    How Sheena went missing
    Sheena studied in St Xavier’s College in Mumbai, and according to her LinkedIn profile, was employed with Reliance ADAG when she disappeared in 2012. She was 24-years-old at the time.
    A missing persons complaint had been filed in May 2012 at the Khar police station after Sheena, who lived in the suburb was untraceable.
    According to an Indian Express report, around the same time the police had found partially burned remains of a woman’s body near a farm house in Lonavala.