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

At 78, Virbhadra hits campaign home stretch

  • Naresh K Thakur, Hindustan Times, Indora/Dharamsala
  • |
  • Updated: Oct 31, 2012 00:18 IST

Virbhadra Singh has set a frenetic campaign pace in the home stretch of the November 4 Himachal Pradesh polls, putting in more than 15 hours each day to convince voters to bring the Congress back to power.

At 78, the former five-time chief minister and state Congress chief is criss-crossing the hill state in choppers and SUVs, reaching out to the electorate at rallies and inspiring party activists to knock on every voter's door.

"I am tireless and the other party (the ruling BJP) has roped in a battery of national leaders, but they are unable to keep pace with me," Singh said after addressing a rally in Indora, Kangra district earlier this week.

There is talk of prestige, honour and even political future being at stake for Singh in what is being billed as his last major campaign, but he does not comment on such theories.

Beginning early in the morning, he pursues a punishing schedule through the day before winding up late at night. Singh's assessment of his energy levels is simple. "My food habits keep me fit. I still walk during the campaign."

Singh is not bogged down by the recent controversy over alleged payoffs by a steel major to a "VBS", widely speculated to be him. Singh has denied being "VBS".

On the BJP targeting him on the issue, he said, "I am used to this. They have implicated me in false cases before."


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