Mumbai police on Monday claimed a major breakthrough in the Sheena Bora murder case with forensic tests showing that the DNA samples of the
remains exhumed from a Raigad forest matched those of her mother and main accused Indrani Mukerjea.
Mumbai police commissioner Rakesh Maria said the DNA report "conclusively proves" that Indrani Mukerjea was the mother of Sheena Bora who was murdered in April 2012.
The DNA test results came on the day Indrani and her driver, Shyamwar Rai, also an accused in the case, were sent to judicial custody till September 21 by a court in Bandra. She will be lodged in the city’s only women’s prison in Byculla.
Meanwhile, a team of Mumbai police took co-accused and Indrani’s ex-husband Sanjeev Khanna , to his Kolkata house for a search. The police sought time till Tuesday to produce him in court.
Sheena's jewellery found
Mumbai police commissioner Rakesh Maria said Khanna had led them to the spot where they recovered the shoes that were used by the accused when Sheena’s body was dumped in Raigad, 150km south of Mumbai. “We have also recovered the jewellery Sheena was wearing the day she was killed,” said Maria.
Late into the night, a team of officers was questioning Peter Mukerjea, Indrani’s husband, on various financial deals executed by the Mukerjeas and the companies they had started.
“A team of forensic experts, chartered accountants and income-tax consultants have been working for a period of 10 days on the various companies, investments and properties the Mukerjeas and the companies they owned not only in India, but also in UK and in Spain,” said Maria. The Mumbai polices’ Economic Offences Wing (EOW), too, has been roped into check all financial angles.
Maria said they have written to various agencies to examine all the documents, including financial and property-related papers recovered from the accused.
The DNA test results will help bolster the police’s case, especially after the report of the skull-photo or craniofacial superimposition test – a forensic anthropology test — had confirmed last week that the skull recovered from the outskirts of Gagode Budruk village in Raigad district was that of Sheena.'
For the DNA test, the police had collected hair and blood samples of Indrani, her son and Sheena’s brother, Mikhail Bora, and Siddhartha Das, Indrani’s former partner, who claims to be Sheena and Mikhail’s father. Mikhail’s DNA samples, too, matched that of Indrani.
“The DNA test results along with report of the craniofacial superimposition test will prove to be irrefutable evidence before the trial court to prove that the body recovered was that of Sheena Bora,” said a police officer close to the investigation.
On April 24, 2012, Indrani, Khanna and Rai allegedly strangled Sheena in a Bandra by-lane. They burnt and dumped the body the next morning in Raigad. The murder came to light after Rai spilled the beans when he was arrested for possessing illegal arms on August 21 this year. Indrani was arrested on August 25.
Indrani in Byculla prison
At the women's prison in Byculla, the former INX CEO will be kept in a barrack, which already houses 27 under trials facing murder charges.
“Inmates accused of murder are generally considered to be violent, so we have allotted them a separate barrack inside the jail... The movements of every inmate are monitored on CCTV cameras,” said a Byculla jail officer.
The women’s prison houses 215 inmates and is not overcrowded like the Arthur Road Central Prison. This is because many undertrials facing serious charges have been shifted to other women’s jails, like at Kalyan.Read:Full coverage of Sheena murder mystery