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

Cong alleges scam in coal mine allocation in C'garh

  • PTI, Raipur
  • |
  • Updated: Aug 31, 2012 23:47 IST

The opposition Congress on Friday alleged a scam in the allocation of coal mines in Chhattisgarh and sought a CBI probe, while chief minister Raman Singh said that the state government had no role in the coal block allotment.

Chhattisgarh Congress chief Nandkumar Patel told reporters here that the state government had "conspired" to allot Bhatgaon-2 and Bhatgaon-2 extension coal blocks to Nagpur-based SMS Infrastructure Ltd and Solar Explosive Ltd, which caused a loss of Rs. 1,052 crore to the exchequer.

However, brushing aside the charges against his government's role in the alleged coal scam, Chhattisgarh chief minister Raman Singh said in Indore that the allotment of coal blocks was the responsibility of the union government, the mining department as well as the Screening Committee and that the state government had no role in it.

"Coal block allocation is not the prerogative of the state...It was government Of India, the mining department and the Screening Committee which used to decide and finalise it," the chief minister told reporters in Raipur after an event.

The chief minister was reacting to a query whether the two coal blocks were approved on by his government.

Any state government could only recommend to the Centre about alloting coal blocks, Singh said.

"It was surprising alloted six coal blocks of Chattisgarh were not recommended by my government and without any application", he said.

Meanwhile, Gaurishankar Agarwal, chairman of Chhattisgarh Mineral Development Corporation, denied Congress' allegations and said that the allotment was as per the norms and the calculations of revenue loss by the CAG were "imaginary".

 

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