Sheena murder: Police record Peter Mukherjea’s statement

Mumbai, Sep 2 (IANS) Inching ahead in the Sheena Bora murder case investigation, Mumbai police on Wednesday recorded the statement of former media tycoon Peter Mukherjea, the husband of prime accused Indrani Mukherjea.

Peter was brought from his Worli residence to the Khar police station around 10.30 a.m. and grilled for nearly nine hours on various aspects of the murder case.

According to official sources, among the aspects on which Peter was questioned was his knowledge of the relationships between his wife Indrani and her children Sheena and Mikhail, with Peter’s son from a previous marriage, Rahul Mukherjea, with Indrani’s ex-husband Sanjeev Khanna, and whether Peter had any inkling of the murder plan being hatched.

Peter was also grilled on certain financial aspects concerning the family as police attempt to unravel a money angle to deduce the exact motives behind Sheena’s killing, which has eluded the investigators so far.

Shortly after his wife Indrani was arrested on August 25, Peter and Rahul made the sensational revelation that Sheena was actually the daughter, and not the sister of Indrani, as was previously believed.

In a related development, a Mumbai police team reached the Kolkata residence of Siddhartha Das, the ex-partner of Indrani.

Das, who has admitted that Sheena and her brother Mikhail were born to him and Indrani out of wedlock, has expressed willingness to cooperate in the murder probe.

However, it was not immediately clear whether Das would be arrested or brought to Mumbai for questioning.

During the probe on Wednesday, Indrani was reported to have told police that she was opposed to the incestuous relationship between Rahul and Sheena, and also had apprehended that the duo (Sheena-Rahul) could harm her professionally.

However, so far, police have not brought the accused trio — Indrani, Khanna and the driver Shyamvar Rai — face-to-face yet or confronted them with Peter or any of the other family members like his brother Gautam Mukherjea, Mikhail and Rahul.

Peter was questioned on three occasions last week, as also his son, Rahul, besides Mikhail, who arrived her from Guwahati and provided certain evidence to Mumbai police which were being verified.

Police have also taken cognizance of Mikhail’s claim that Indrani was conspiring to kill him and a fresh charge to this effect has been added in the remand application filed before the Bandra magistrate court on Monday.

A Criminal Investigation Department team visited the forests near Gagode village in Raigad district, around 95 km south of Mumbai, where the accused trio burnt and disposed of Sheena’s body on the late evening of April 24, 2012.

Over three years later, Mumbai police on Wednesday traced out a vendor in south Mumbai from whom Indrani and driver Rai bought two suitcases, one of which was allegedly used to dispose of Sheena’s body in Raigad, and the other was kept for Mikhail.

Rai took the investigators to a roadside vendor in Dadar area on Tuesday evening, from whom they had bought in 2012 the two suitcases worth Rs.5,000.

The statement of the vendor — who is likely to be made a police witness — who recognised Rai, will help reinforce the police charge of a preplanned conspiracy hatched to kill Sheena and later Mikhail.

Presently, Indrani, Khanna and Rai are on an extended police custody till September 5.

Police are awaiting the DNA tests and forensic reports of the purported remains of Sheena’s body recovered from Raigad which could be major clincher, though the motive behind her killing remains a mystery.

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