A court here on Saturday extended, till September 7, the police custody of Indrani P. Mukherjea and two other prime accused in the Sheena Bora murder case for questioning on various aspects including how the spot to hide her body was chosen as well as the exact motives of the crime
Indrani, 47, the wife of former media baron Peter Mukherjea, was produced in the court along with her former husband Sanjeev Khanna, 50, and her driver Shyamvar Rai, 43, as their police remand ended on Saturday.
Seeking extension of the remand, public prosecutor V. Bagade, among other things, said that the investigators had to cover a lot of area in the investigations and claimed that Indrani was not cooperating with them in the murder investigations of her daughter Sheena.
However, Indrani’s lawyer contended that police were conducting a “media trial and prejudicing the proceedings,” especially since she was not a hardened criminal.
Accepting the police plea, Additonal Chief Metropolitan Magistrate S.M. Chandgade granted three days extension of police custody for the three accused.
In its detailed plea for remand, police said they wanted to investigate attempts made after the victim’s death to prove that she was alive by impersonating and misusing her email id, and sending emails to several persons from it.
Police was in touch with the concerned email service providers, as well as Skype internet on which calls were made, the details of which were awaited.
They also wanted to know at whose behest the crime spot where the victim’s body was disposed off – Gagode village in Pen, Raigad district, around 95 kms south of Mumbai – was selected and why.
The investigators want to recover Indrani’s credit card and are seeking details of certain credit cards transactions through which purchases were made from different places, details of bank accounts and related aspects in preparation for the crime.
Moreover, details of the bank accounts and financial transactions by the accused also needed to be probed, as also more investigations in Kolkata where a part of the conspiracy to kill Sheena was hatched, and to unravel the motives behind the crime.
Police also said that Indrani and Khanna maintained bank accounts in Mumbai and Britain and they needed to probe the transactions from these accounts, besides studying certain email exchanges with Sheena in 2012.
Submitting details of the progress in the investigations so far, police said that they had matched Sheena’s profile with the digital superimposition on the skull recovered from the Gagode forests nine days ago and were waiting for further reports in the matter.
Police have also recovered the car, belonging to a third party which was used to transport the body to Raigad.
Moreover, the remand application said Indrani was plotting to kill Sheena’s brother, Mikhail Bora and a suitcase kept ready to dispose off his body has also been recovered, for which police had added a new charge against Indrani.
Police have so far questioned Peter Mukherjea, his brother Gautam Mukherjea, his wife Aarti, Peter’s step-daughter Vidhie, son Rahul Mukherjea and Mikhail, but no fresh arrests have been made yet.
According to the investigators, Sheena was strangulated in a vehicle in Mumbai on April 24, 2012 by the accused.
Later, they took her body to Gagode where they doused it with petrol, burnt and then disposed it off in the dense forests of the remote area.
It was recovered on May 23 that year, but the lid only came off the murder after an anonymous tip-off was received by the Mumbai police a few weeks ago.