A Burnt Body and a Tip Off: How the Sheena Bora Murder Case Unfolded

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A Burnt Body and a Tip Off: How the Sheena Bora Murder Case Unfolded

Sheena Bora, who was allegedly murdered by her mother Indrani Mukerjea

Mumbai:  In May, 2012, a young woman's burnt body was found in the forests, 84 km from Mumbai. It would take three years and an anonymous tip-off for the mystery to be solved.

The 22-year-old woman, Sheena Bora, was strangled and her body was burnt allegedly by three people who have all been arrested now. One of them is her mother Indrani Mukerjea, the wife of former Star TV CEO Peter Mukerjea and co-founder of the media network that became 9X. Another is her step-father Sandeep Khanna, Indrani's ex-husband. The third is Indrani's driver.

Sheena Bora, who was Indrani's daughter from an earlier marriage, was allegedly last seen a car with all three in 2012. Until yesterday, everyone thought she had gone to the US.

Mumbai police commissioner Rakesh Maria said Sheena was murdered in the car on 24 April, 2012. The car, with the body, was allegedly parked overnight in Peter Mukerjea's garage.

The next day, the body was taken in the same car to Raigad, where Sheena's burnt body was found on 23 May. At the time, the police dismissed the body as unclaimed but, sources claim, preserved the DNA.

The police suspect Indrani was upset about Sheena's relationship with her step-brother Rahul, Peter Mukerjea's son from a previous marriage. But they have not ruled out a financial dispute.

On an informer's tip-off, the police had been quietly investigating Indrani for four months but hit pay dirt only after arresting her driver in an arms case.

"During his interrogation, he confessed to murder. He took us to the spot where the body was dumped," said Mr Maria, who interrogated Indrani Mukerjea.

Until Indrani Mukerjea's arrest last night, most of their friends and relatives thought Sheena was her sister - even Peter Mukerjea, who told NDTV that he was "dumbstruck" by the crime and shocked to learn that Sheena was his wife's  daughter, not sister as she had claimed to the world.

"I feel like I have been kept in the dark about major parts of my marriage for 15 years," Mr Mukerjea said.

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