Sheena Bora went missing seven years ago, on 24 April 2012. Around the same time, the police in Raigad, 84 kms from Mumbai, found the burnt remains of a body. Curiously, they took no action.
For three years, there was not trace or mention of her name except among some people who were close to her.
In 2015, thanks to an anonymous tip-off, Mumbai Police began an investigation into Sheena’s disappearance, which resulted in the arrest of Indrani Mukerjea, Sheena’s mother, Sanjeev Khanna, Indrani’s ex-husband, Shyamvar Pinturam Rai, their driver and eventually Peter Mukerjea, media baron and Indrani’s husband.
Seven years on, as the case still limps on in court, we take a look at how the chilling tale unfolded:
24 April 2012 – Mumbai Metro One, where Sheena used to work, received her ‘resignation’ in writing, and Rahul Mukerjea, Sheena’s step-brother who she was dating, received a break-up message. Indrani, who, at the time, posed as Sheena’s sister, reportedly explained away the disappearance by saying that Sheena had gone to the US for further studies.
25 April 2012 – The police in the small town of Pen, Raigad district, found the burnt remains of an unidentified body. For reasons unknown, and under inquiry, the Raigad police didn’t file an ADR (Accidental Death Report).
25 August 2015 – Mumbai Police arrested Indrani Mukerjea for allegedly murdering her own daughter. The investigation had commenced four months ago, when the Police Commissioner had received an anonymous tip-off. The driver, Shyamvar, had already been arrested, and had confessed, according to the police.
26 August 2015 – Indrani confessed to the police that Sheena was her daughter. Sanjeev Khanna, her ex-husband, was arrested in Kolkata. Indrani’s current husband, businessman Peter Mukerjea, told the media that he was unaware of the goings-on and that he thought Sheena and Indrani were sisters.
27 August 2015 – Mumbai Police Chief, Rakesh Maria, confirmed that Sheena was killed by strangulation in a car, and afterwards, her body was set on fire in a bag.
28 August 2015 – Sheena’s skeletal remains were recovered by the police and sent for DNA tests. Her passport was recovered from Dehradun, compromising Indrani’s claim that her daughter had travelled to the United States. The police, however, were reportedly having a tough time interrogating her.
29 August 2015 – Maharashtra Police ordered a probe into why the Raigad police did not file an Accidental Death Report upon finding the burnt corpse. The remains had been sent to a state hospital for examination, but since an ADR hadn’t been filed, the case wasn’t pursued.
30 August 2015 – Indrani and Sanjeev were taken by the police to Raigad, to recreate the crime scene.
31 August 2015 – Mikhail Bora, Sheena’s brother, came out with his side of the story, alleging that Indrani had attempted to murder him as well. Fresh charges were filed against her for attempting to murder Mikhail.
1 September 2015 – Siddhartha Das, a Kolkata man, revealed himself as Sheena and Mikhail’s biological father. He said that they had met during college but had never tied the knot.
3 September 2015 – Indrani ‘confessed’ to her role in the crime, according to the police.
18 September 2015 – Maharashtra Police handed over the case to the CBI, supposedly to clear all doubts regarding the investigation.
19 November 2015 – In an unexpected twist, after a month of investigation, CBI arrested Peter Mukerjea, who had earlier claimed to have no knowledge of the murder of his step-daughter.
The case has since languished in court, and much has happened during the three years.
Phone-calls and emails between Indrani, Peter and Rahul were uncovered, further incriminating the couple. Indrani lost her father in December 2016 and was granted a day’s bail to attend the funeral. She and Peter Mukerjea, after a string of accusations and counter-accusations, have filed for divorce.
Indrani is parallelly involved in the INX Media case along with Karti Chidambaram, accused of diverting FDI to INX subsidiaries without approval. Peter now recovers from a heart bypass surgery.
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