Indrani Mukerjea, prime accused in the murder of her firstborn child Sheena Bora, briefly fainted in court on Sunday while younger daughter Vidhie wept as the magistrate allowed them to meet on the court premises.

    Besides allowing the emotional meeting, the court extended till September 5 the police custody of INX media co-founder Indrani and her two accomplices — Kolkata-based former husband Sanjeev Khanna and driver Shyam Rai — who were arrested this August for the gruesome murder of Sheena three years ago.

    Police pressed against Indrani the additional charge of attempting to kill Sheena’s sibling, Guwahati-based Mikhail Bora, following his allegation that their mother gave him a spiked drink on the day of the murder.

    Indrani, the wife of former media baron Peter Mukerjea, briefly fainted in the Bandra courtroom as the public prosecutor argued that their custody be further extended.

    The public prosecutor said investigators suspect the involvement of some others outside Maharashtra in the 2012 murder and so more interrogation of the accused trio was required.

    Read: Attempt to kill Mikhail added to charges in Sheena murder case

    Police still chased the motive behind Sheena’s murder and were trying to ascertain where the accused dumped the 24-year-old victim’s clothes, mobile phone and other belongings after the killing.

    Khanna’s lawyer argued that police were only awaiting the reports of the forensic tests and there was no need to extend his police custody. He could be sent to judicial custody instead.

    Indrani’s lawyers that alleged police were using pressure tactics such as manhandling her in custody to force a confession from her.

    Her lawyers wondered if there was anything more to ask since she had been interrogated for around 90 hours following her arrest on August 25. But investigators have contended that she and the other two accused have clammed up and not cooperating with the investigation.

    Indrani is accused of strangling Sheena in a car with the help of Khanna and the driver. Her body was later set on fire and buried in a forest in Raigad district on April 24, 2012.

    Police have found some of the skeletal remains after the driver, who was arrested on August 21 for keeping an unlicenced firearm, took officers to the secret burial site.

    (With inputs from agencies)

    Read: Cops take accused to Raigad to recreate crime scene

    Sheena murder probe to focus on passport, call records, money trail

    Full coverage: Sheena Bora murder mystery

Assam: Muslim voters play deciding role in polls

In Assam, Muslim voters constitute about 35% of the electorate and play a deciding role in six of the 14 Lok Sabha constituencies — Dhubri, Barpeta, Nagaon, Koliabor, Karimganj and Silchar.

Till 2005, Muslim-dominated areas in Assam were regarded as Congress bastions. But, in September 2005, the then Assam unit president of Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind, Maulana Badruddin Ajmal, founded the United Democratic Front (UDF). The Congress lost its edge in pockets of Barak valley (southern Assam) and immigrant Muslim-dominated areas of lower Assam.

The UDF was renamed as the AIUDF (All India United Democratic Front) in 2009.  The AIUDF's entry into Assam's election battle gave a new dimension to the state's politics. It caused heavy erosion of the Congress base among immigrant Muslim voters in the general elections that year. The AIUDF fielded candidates against the Congress, helping the BJP win four constituencies — Guwahati, Mangaldoi, Silchar and Nagaon.
In Guwahati, Mangaldoi, Kokrajhar and Tezpur, the number of Muslim voters is between 2.5 lakh and four lakh. (However, this is not a significant percentage in comparison with the total number of voters in the four constituencies)
 
Constituencies with Muslim voters as dominant factor:

 1. Dhubri (Muslims, mostly immigrant, account for 70% of the voters)
 2. Barpeta (Muslims, mostly immigrant, account for 60% of the voters)
 3. Mangaldoi (Nearly 400,000 voters are Muslims. Almost half are Assamese Muslims)
 4. Guwahati (Nearly 400,000 voters are Muslims — both immigrants and Assamese)
 5. Nagaon ( 40% voters are Muslims, mostly immigrants)
 6. Koliabor ( 28% voters are Muslims, mostly immigrants)
 7. Tezpur (250,000 voters are Muslims, mostly immigrants)
 8. Karimganj ( 55% voters are Muslims)
 9. Silchar ( 35% of voters are Muslims)
10. Kokrajhar ( 200,000 voters are Muslims, mostly immigrants)

In the other four constituencies of Jorhat, Dibrugarh, Lakhimpur and Diphu, Muslims do not have a significant presence)


Muslim candidates in the fray:

1. Badruddin Ajmal ( AIUDF), Dhubri constituency
2. Sirajuddin Ajmal (AIUDF), Barpeta constituency
3. (Sirajuddin is the brother of Badruddin)
4. Ismail Hussain ( Congress ), Barpeta constituency
5. Parvez Ahmed ( Trinamool Congress), Barpeta constituency ( Ahmed is the former CEO of Max hospital, Delhi, and son of Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed, former President of India)
6. Former state minister Wajed Ali Choudhuri, Dhubri constituency
7. Anowar Hussain ( Asom Gana Parisad), Dhubri constituency


 

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