Kolkata resident Siddhartha Das, Indrani Mukerjea's former partner and Sheena Bora's biological father, said on Tuesday he was ready for a paternity test and go to Mumbai to help police in their investigation into his daughter's murder.
"I am also ready for a DNA test. I want to help the probe, but I can't afford a trip to Mumbai," Das told HT.
Das, whose identity and whereabouts were a matter of speculation for the past few days, lives in a small two-bedroom apartment near Dum Dum and has been married for 17 years. He said his wife Babli was not aware of his past till Sheena's gruesome murder was reported in the media.
"I am ready to extend all sorts of cooperation to Mumbai Police. If Indrani has killed Sheena, she should be hanged," Das told reporters earlier at a spot near the Salt Lake stadium.
Sheena's father says Indrani should be hanged if she murdered daughter
Sheena was killed in April 2012 allegedly by her mother and former media honcho Indrani. Sanjeev Khanna, Indrani's former husband, and Indrani's driver Shyam Rai have confessed to complicity in the crime.
Indrani, who was arrested last week in Mumbai, had passed off Sheena as her sister and Mikhail as her brother to her husband former Star India CEO Peter Mukerjea and everyone else. She told everyone, including her husband Peter Mukerjea and Rahul Mukerjea, his son from an earlier marriage, that Sheena had gone to the US for higher studies. Sheena was in a relationship with Rahul.
As Das' phone kept on ringing and a big crowd of reporters thronged outside his modest apartment, he refused to be photographed by the media and spoke wearing a helmet and with his face covered with a piece of cloth.
Even Das' neighbours in Durganagar expressed their displeasure at the large contingent of reporters in the area trying to get into the apartment building.
He admitted that Sheena and Mikhail Bora are his children.
"I am the biological father of Sheena and Mikhail. She was born on February 11, 1987. Mikhail was born on September 9, 1988. What has come out in the media is incorrect," Das claimed.
"I tried to contact Sheena many times," Das added, claiming that Indrani left him as he was without a job and was in dire financial straits.
Das described his former partner as "an ambitious woman who went after money."
"Why should I when she dumped me?" Das said when asked whether he was in touch with Indrani.
Das said he met Indrani in 1986 while studying in a college in Shillong. He said he and Indrani never married but were in a live-in relationship and stayed at the Bora residence in Guwahati. Das added he lost touch with Indrani in 1989 when she left home saying she was going to Shillong, never to return to his life.
Das, who works for a confectioner, also claimed that he visited the Bora residence in Guwahati a few times but was humiliated by Indrani's parents. He said he went to the Bora residence in 2000 for the last time and met Sheena. He left his phone number with her and Sheena called him just once after that.
He gradually distanced himself from them and said he came to know about the death of his daughter from the media.
His wife said Das is ready to cooperate with the police but does not want to be 'exposed' by the media as it will hurt his son, who passed Class 10 exam this year, and knows nothing about his father's past.
"The past is past. I did not have any idea of his relation with Indrani. So I have no comments to offer," said Babli.