MUMBAI: In an important breakthrough, the Mumbai police on Friday morning dug the place where Sheena Bora’s body was dumped and recovered some bones, a skull and a suitcase.
The police are at the spot and digging for more remains is on in Pen in Maharashtra’s Raigad district.
In May 2012, Raigad police had sent hair, tooth and some bone samples to J J Hospital in Mumbai. In December 2013, the hospital told police that the charred remains were not enough to determine age, gender or cause of death. The Raigad police never responded to the hospital’s communication. The remains were handed over to Mumbai police today.
Meanwhile, Sanjeev Khanna, the former husband of Indrani Mukerjea, arrested in connection with the Sheena Bora murder case, was today remanded in Mumbai police custody till August 31 by the court of Bandra Metropolitan Magistrate.
Khanna, dressed in an off-white shirt and khaki trousers, was produced in the court amid tight security with his face covered with a white cloth. The order was passed by the court on an application by the police seeking his custody.
The police alleged in the court that Khanna had played an active role in the conspiracy and murder of 24-year-old Sheena, daughter of Indrani, and he had to be taken to the spot where she was killed on April 24, 2012.
The police contended that Indrani, the wife of former STAR CEO Peter Mukerjea, her driver Shyam Rai and Khanna abducted Sheena in a car and took her to a forest in Pen town of Maharashtra’s Raigad district where they killed her allegedly by strangulation. The trio then poured petrol on her body and burnt it in the forest, they said.
They further said they want to recover the object with which Sheena was killed and also the car in which she was abducted and taken to the forest in Pen.
The police said they have taken possession of Khanna’s passport, laptop and mobile phone.
Khanna was arrested under IPC sections 364 (kidnapping), 302 (murder), 201 (causing disappearance of evidence) and 120-B (conspiracy).
Prosecutor Laxman Rathod sought Khanna’s custody on the ground that he was allegedly involved in the criminal conspiracy and murder of Sheena. Hence, a detailed probe is required to be done, he said.
He said the police need to find out if more persons were involved in the crime, apart from Indrani, her driver and Khanna.
Indrani was arrested by suburban Khar police on August 25 and later remanded in police custody till August 31. Khanna was arrested the next day in Kolkata in connection with the murder case.
Indrani’s driver Shyam Rai, who was picked by the police in connection with the murder, was arrested on August 25.
During interrogation, the driver claimed that Indrani had killed Bora and that he had helped her in disposing the body by dumping it in the forests of Raigad district, Khar police had earlier said.
The motive behind the murder remained a mystery even as the driver and Khanna are believed to have told the police that Indrani had done a recce of the place where the body was to be dumped a day before the murder.
Khanna, who had divorced Indrani, is believed to have told the Mumbai police in Kolkata that he was in the car in which Sheena was allegedly strangulated but claimed to have slept during the crime in which he had no role.
This apparently contradicted the arrested driver’s claim before the police that Indrani and Khanna had strangulated Sheena in the car after giving her a spiked drink in a hotel room in Mumbai.
Khanna had come to Mumbai on April 23, 2012, a day before the murder and took a flight back to Kolkata on April 25, according to police sources.
In another development in the murder case, a court here on Friday allowed the application filed by lawyer of Indrani seeking permission to meet her.
Indrani’s lawyer had moved the court on Thursday saying that the police were not allowing her lawyers to meet her.
The Bandra court, while allowing the application, directed the police to follow the guidelines framed by the apex court on the rights of the accused.