Former Star India CEO Peter Mukerjea's statement was today recorded in the Sheena Bora murder case in the presence ofhis wife Indrani and the other two accused. Mukerjea reached the Khar police station here at 10:30 AM to record his statement. Indrani, her ex-husband Sanjeev Khanna and driver Shyam Rai, who were allegedly involved in the murder were also brought there.
The police are understood to have questioned the three accused in the presence of Peter and their counsel in perhaps the first such confrontation since Indrani was arrested on August 24 for allegedly murdering Sheena and hiding her body in 2012.
Mukerjea had gone to the police station last week, but the Mumbai police had refused to accept a written statement from him and he was told that when the police needed, they would call him for questioning.
A local court had earlier extended the police custody of the three accused - Indrani, Sanjeev Khanna and Shyam Rai - till September 5. Peter, who has been married to Indrani for 13 years and set up a media company with her, had first said that he was unaware that Sheena Bora was his wife's daughter and that Indrani had introduced her as her sister.
A few days after Indrani's arrest, Peter amended his version to say Sheena Bora did inform him that she was his step-daughter, but he had no reasons not to believe his wife Indrani's denial of that claim though he found it "difficult to digest".
He claimed that the same thing was communicated to him by his son Rahul, but he had not believed him as well. Peter maintained that he vaguely remembered the date when he was told about the fact and it was sometime in 2011.
Sheena was engaged to Rahul, Peter's son from an earlier marriage, when she was allegedly murdered on April 24, 2012. The 24-year-old was allegedly strangled in a car, then her body was burnt and dumped at a forest in Raigad, about 84 km from Mumbai.
Her purported remains were found a month later and buried by the police, which treated the body as unclaimed. For three years, Indrani told her family and friends that Sheena had shifted to the US. Yesterday, a man claiming to be Sheena's biological father, Sidhharth Das surfaced and said that he was not in touch with Indrani.
A Mumbai Police team seized a laptop and papers related to bank accounts and investments of Khanna from his residence.
According to a senior officer of Kolkata Police, the team from Mumbai Police, alongwith a team from the city force, visited Khanna's residence in Hastings area this morning and seized his laptop as a part of their probe into the murder mystery.
"They (Mumbai Police) asked for our help in getting Khanna's laptop. We only assisted them in that and we have no clue about the investigation into the case," the officer said.
A source in Kolkata Police said that for seizing the laptop, the team required a "search warrant" without which they would not have been able to get into Khanna's house and hence, the assistance of the local police was needed.
It was also learnt that Mumbai Police was also trying to talk to Das, who claimed to be Sheena's biological father.
Peter Mukherjee's brother Gautam Mukherjea leaves from Khar Police station pic.twitter.com/FtHGBnilGk— ANI (@ANI_news) September 2, 2015
Earlier, police traced a street vendor in Central Mumbai from whom Indrani and her driver had allegedly purchased two suitcases, one of which was apparently used for disposing of the victim's body in Raigad district in 2012.
The investigators took Rai to the Dadar area in the evening to crosscheck whether Indrani and him had indeed purchased the suitcases from the vendor in question, a police officer said.
He said the vendor identified Rai. The officer added that the vendor will now be made a witness in the case. According to police, Rai and Indrani had gone to Dadar and purchased the suitcases for Rs 5,000.
With the vendor's statement, police could very well say that Sheena's murder was premeditated, the officer added.