Mumbai: In the Sheena Bora murder investigation involving a complex cast of characters, body parts found in a forest in Maharashtra's Raigad may lead to a breakthrough for the Mumbai police.
If the exhumed remains are established as Sheena's, the police will have a strong case against the trio that has been arrested for her murder - her mother Indrani Mukerjea, step-father Sanjeev Khanna and Indrani's driver. The case around Sheena's murder in 2012 currently revolves around statements by Indrani and the driver.
Remains of Sheena's body in a suitcase were spotted by villagers in Raigad, 84 km from Mumbai, a month after the murder on April 24, 2012, but in a glaring lapse in procedure, the local police allegedly dismissed the body as unclaimed and buried it without a forensic examination.
A skull and bones have been found at the spot where the body was buried, say the Mumbai police. A forensic analysis of the remains will be crucial to prove the murder in court. The police also say samples were taken in 2012 and have been found in a forensic lab of JJ Hospital.
After Sheena Bora was killed, her face was smashed and her body was stuffed in the suitcase and burnt, the police say.
The day before the murder, the three accused allegedly did a recce of the place where they would dump Sheena's body, say the police.
Indrani Mukerjea, a prominent media executive married to former Star India chief Peter Mukerjee, was arrested on Tuesday after her driver allegedly "confessed" and led the police to the spot where Sheena Bora's body was dumped.
The driver has allegedly told the police that Sanjeev Khanna strangled Sheena, who had been given sedatives in water after she was allegedly forced into a car by her mother.
Sheena Bora was Indrani Mukerjea's daughter from an earlier marriage and was dating Peter Mukerjea's son Rahul, her step-brother, when she was killed.
After her murder, the police say, Indrani used her phone for a year and forged documents to give the impression that Sheena was alive and in the US.