With the next court hearing scheduled for Saturday, Mumbai police on Thursday were engaged in a multi-pronged probe to ascertain the motive behind the killing of Sheena Bora, as her mother and prime accused Indrani Mukherjea remained resolute on not admitting to a crime which she claimed she did not commit.
The police probe covered family disputes, property and financial angles involving the three accused — Indrani, her ex-husband Sanjeev Khanna and her former driver Shyamvar Rai — and others who are being questioned.
Former Star India CEO and Indrani’s husband Peter Mukherjea, was questioned for the second consecutive day on Thursday, mainly on the financial and property aspects, details of which are being kept under wraps for the present.
During the day, conflicting media reports emerged about Indrani having ‘confessed’ to her role in the killing of her daughter Sheena, but her lawyer Gunjan Mangala promptly denied it.
While a couple of TV channels insisted that Indrani had confessed, her lawyer dismissed the contentions, claiming Indrani was “very resolute that she would not admit to a crime which she had not committed”.
TV reports claimed Indrani admitted to her role in Sheena’s murder, the circumstances leading to the crime and other aspects. However, top police officials refused to comment on the developments.
Questions were also raised about the admissibility of the purported confession, if any, in a court since it was made before police and not before a magistrate as required under law.
The general manager of a private car rental firm was summoned to Khar police station to find out what make was the vehicle and in whose name was it hired in which Sheena was killed on April 24, 2012.
Hoping to achieve a breakthrough, police were likely to summon Indrani’s former live-in partner Siddhartha Das, who was traced in Kolkata on Wednesday, for questioning in Mumbai.
Das has admitted to having a relationship with Indrani and the fact that the two children — Sheena and her brother Mikhail Bora — were born out of wedlock. He has expressed willingness to cooperate with the investigation.
On Thursday, police carried out sustained interrogation of the three prime accused — Indrani, Khanna and Rai.
But there was no confirmation whether they were brought face-to-face with each other or confronted before Peter.
The investigators appeared optimistic over a possible important breakthrough expected soon in the case, but kept mum on the details.
Moving swiftly in the past nine days, police have so far questioned Peter, his brother Gautam, Sheena’s ex-lover Rahul Mukherjea, Mikhail, the car rental agency official, a petrol pump attendant near Raigad and a streetside suitcase vendor in Dadar.
Police traced the streetside vendor from whom Indrani and Rai bought two suitcases worth Rs.5,000, one of which was used to dump Sheena’s body and the other allegedly kept ready for Mikhail.
Presently, Indrani, Khanna and Rai are on 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 last Friday which could be a major clincher.