The probe into the mysterious murder of Sheena Bora gathered pace on Friday with the questioning of Indrani Mukherjea’s former husband, Sanjeev Khanna, who the police said played a role in the abduction of the victim along with her mother and driver and killed her in Pen in Raigad more than three years ago.
Khanna, who was arrested in Kolkata, was on Friday remanded in police custody after being charged with murder in the mysterious murder case and was taken to an undisclosed location for joint interrogation with her and her driver.
Brought here from Kolkota on Thursday night, he was taken to Khar police station where Mumbai Police Commissioner Rakesh Maria himself joined other officials in questioning the suspects.
Earlier producing Khanna before court, police contended that Indrani, 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 had then poured petrol on her body and burnt it in the forest, they said.
Police 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.
They said they have taken possession of Khanna’s passport, laptop and mobile phone and sought his custody on the ground that a detailed probe is required to be done in the case.
Another important person who was questioned on Friday for possible clues to the murder was Mikhail Bora, brother of Sheena, who was brought from Guwahati. He had been making claims that he has evidence to prove why his mother killed Sheena but he would give it to police.
On Friday, he said he would cooperate fully with police because he was seeking justice for his sister.
Gautam, the brother of Peter Mukerjea, was also called to the police station questioning.
The others who were grilled on Friday were Indrani, who has been arrested and is the main suspect in the case. She is believed to have killed her 25-year-old daughter, who she has presented as her sister all these years, with help from driver S P Rai and Khanna in a taxi on April 24, 2012.
Khanna was produced in Bandra court and remanded to police custody till August 31 after being charged under sections 364 (kidnapping), 302 (murder), 201 (causing disappearance of evidence) and 120-B (conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code.
In what could be crucial in taking the probe forward, police collected a few pieces of bones from J J Hospital, where it was sent in May 2012, a month after Sheena’s body was burnt and dumped there.
“The hospital sent its report in 2013 saying it can not determine the age, sex or cause of death on the basis of the bones sent by the Pen police,” Hospital Dean Dr T P Lahane told PTI.
“Today, Khar police came to the hospital and collected the bones from us”, Lahane said declining to make any comment when asked whether the samples could be vital forensic evidence in the case.
Maria had said on Thursday night that presence of the “third accused “ (Khanna) would be crucial in unravelling the mystery.
Khanna, 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 police alleged in the court that Khanna had played an active role in the conspiracy and murder of 24-year-old Sheena and he had to be taken to the spot where she was killed on April 24, 2012.
A local court also allowed the application filed by lawyer of Indrani seeking permission to meet her.
Indrani’s lawyer had moved the court on Thursday saying that police were not allowing her lawyers to meet her.
While allowing the application, the court directed the police to follow the guidelines framed by the apex court on the rights of the accused. Indrani was arrested by Khar police on August 25 over her alleged role in Sheena’s murder three years back.
She was later produced before the Bandra court, which remanded her in police custody till August 31.
Khanna was arrested the next day in Kolkata in connection with the murder case.
Indrani’s driver, 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 of the body by dumping it in the forests of Raigad district, Khar police had earlier said.