NEW DELHI (TIP): The Sheena Bora murder case took a sensational turn with the arrest of media tycoon Peter Mukerjea.
The prime investigating agency of India, the Central Bureau of Investigation on Thursday, November 19 evening, arrested Mukerjea in the case related to the murder of Sheena Bora, the daughter of his wife Indrani Mukerjea from her former husband. Mukerjea will be produced in a Mumbai court on November 20th.
Peter’s arrest, the fourth in the case, came hours after the CBI filed a 1000 page charge sheet against Sheena’s mother Indrani, her stepfather Sanjeev Khanna, and Indrani’s former driver Shyamvar Rai in the Esplanade court in Mumbai.
While officers did not elaborate on the nature of Peter’s involvement in the case, they claimed that during her questioning, Indrani had dropped enough hints. “She has given enough indications… he knew of the murder,” a CBI officer claimed.
Sources said that though he was arrested on Thursday, the CBI had called him for interrogation earlier as well. “He was not cooperating with the agency at all. He got arrested after the questioning. The officials suspect that Peter was involved in destroying evidence,” the source said. He was also questioned about money transactions.
The CBI, which was handed over the case on September 29 after a turf-war between the ousted Commissioner Rakesh Maria and the new incumbent Ahmed Javed, had questioned Mukerjea for hours before it was decided to place him under arrest, the sources said.
Following confirmation of Peter’s arrest, advocate Mahesh Jethmalani said: “I was informed about Peter’s arrest by his sister this evening. I will not be representing Peter Mukerjea. I don’t know who will be representing him in this case.”
Earlier in the evening, Mr. Jethmalani said he was surprised at the decision of CBI to place him under arrest. “I will be extremely shocked if the news about his arrest is true.” “I contacted him through messages and my last contact was well past 7.30 PM when he informed me that he was being questioned by the CBI and that he would contact me later,” he said.
Indrani Mukerjea, the prime accused in the case, was arrested two months ago and has been in a Mumbai jail since September 7. According to the agency, her accomplices in the crime were her former husband Sanjeev Khanna and driver Shyam Rai.
Sources said there were conflicting elements in the statements of Peter and Indrani Mukerjea and the arrest was made to establish the truth through custodial interrogation.
Sheena Bora, 24 — who was allegedly strangled in April 2012 – was the unacknowledged daughter of Indrani Mukerjea. In public, she was introduced as Indrani Mukerjea’s sister. She was also engaged to Rahul Mukerjea, Mr. Mukerjea’s son from an earlier marriage — a relationship that her mother disapproved of strongly.
The murder remained undiscovered for three years, during which time, Indrani Mukerjea allegedly told friends and family that Ms Bora had left for the US. This August, Ms Bora’s remains were found in a forest near Raigad, around 80 km from Mumbai.
After initially examining whether Ms Bora was killed because her mother was upset about her relationship with Rahul Mukerjea, the police looked into the financial motive. In 2007, the Mukerjeas had co-founded the broadcasting group INX media, which they exited in 2009 amid talk of embezzlement and proxy firms.
The case was transferred to the CBI on September 19 after allegations that the new police chief, Ahmed Javed, was “close to” Mr. Mukerjea, KP Bakshi, a top bureaucrat in Home Ministry had told NDTV.
The agency filed a charge sheet in a Mumbai court on November 19, which said, Indrani Mukerjea kept Ms Bora’s body overnight at the home she shared with Peter Mukerjea, before driving it to Raigad the next morning. There, the body was set on fire.