Twenty five year old Sheena Bora was murdered on 24 April, 2012, and her body was burnt and disposed off in a forest in Raigad district the next day. The murder mystery hit the headlines for one long month and all of a sudden media went silent. However, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) took over the probe and registered a case against Sheena’s mother Indrani Mukerjea and two others for allegedly hatching a criminal conspiracy to kill her. After Maharashtra government announced handing over the probe to the agency 10 days back, CBI’s special crime branch lodged a case in the designated court in New Delhi against Indrani, her former husband Sanjay Khanna and former driver Shyamvar Pinturam Rai. The CBI filed the case under various sections of Indian Penal Code (IPC) including criminal conspiracy, murder, abduction, destruction of evidence, causing hurt by giving poison and Arms Act. Whilst Rai and Khanna had confessed to the crime, Mukerjea had maintained that Sheena Bora was alive and in the United States.
The CBI took over the investigation of the case which was earlier registered by Mumbai Police on the allegations that the accused persons hatched a criminal conspiracy to murder Sheena. In pursuance of this conspiracy, the accused allegedly abducted Sheena, murdered her and disposed off her body. The decision to handover the probe to CBI came after days of uncertainty on the supervisory role of former Mumbai police chief Rakesh Maria who was shunted out in the midst of the inquiry that he had helmed proactively. The decision was taken by the state government after Maharashtra Director General of Police (DGP) Sanjeev Dayal submitted a status report on the case which had concluded that the case is not limited to murder alone, but there are many questions on financial dealings that remain unanswered.
Indrani was arrested on August 25 and after that details of her hitherto-unexplored life have set into motion a series of revelations about her past that have both intrigued and disturbed India. She is a figure of universal derision-a bit like Walter Palmer, the dentist from Minnesota who has been accused of beheading Celil the lion in a Zimbabwe forest reserve in July, and a bit like the scheming, despised vamp from the family soap operas she once commissioned as the programming head of general entertainment channel 9X. Indrani stands accused of heartlessly killing her daughter, Sheena Bora.
To realize, this is one of the most disgusting stories of modern-day, one must first attempt to decipher who Indrani really is, by charting the astonishing journey that she has negotiated. The police and media extravaganza attempt of gaining TRP is still throwing up more questions than it is answering. The motive, the modus operandi, the sudden reconciliation of Indrani and Khanna, are all unclear. Is this a wicked family quarrel? Why did Sheena have to lose her life? And, perhaps the most unsettling question is, did a mother who has umbilical bonds with her daughter kill her cold bloodedly?
Sheena Bora, was an executive working for Mumbai Metro One based in Mumbai, went missing on April 24, 2012. On the very same day, Sheena took leave of absence and while she was on leave, she “sent in her written resignation”. Rahul Mukerjea received a breakup SMS from Sheena’s phone on the very day. Her mother, Indrani, claimed that Sheena had gone to the United States for higher studies and hence a missing First Information Report was never filed. Sheena was never seen after that.
Rahul Mukerjea approached the Worli police to file a missing person’s complaint but the case was not registered. Worli police advised Rahul that since the couple (Sheena and Rahul) were a domicile of Andheri (which was out of Worli police’s jurisdiction), the case needed to be registered with Andheri police station. Rahul approached MIDC (Andheri) police station, but the case was not registered there. Rahul also confronted Indrani for whereabouts of Sheena and was advised by her that Sheena had shifted to the United States and that she (Sheena) did not want to be in a relationship with him. Rahul further questioned Indrani how Sheena could have travelled to the US since her passport was in his custody to which Indrani told him that they got “another passport” made for Sheena. Rahul subsequently moved to Dehradun to live with his biological mother.
Indrani was charged under sections 302 (murder), 201 (causing disappearance of evidence) and 34 (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code and took to the Bandra Metropolitan Magistrate court, which remanded her in police custody. Sanjeev Khanna was also charged under sections 364 (kidnapping), 302 (murder), 201 (causing disappearance of evidence) and 120-B (conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code in the same issue. So far no major headway has been made in this case. Let’s see, how much time this case will be in the corridor of courts and investigations.