Former media tycoon Indrani Mukerjea, who is accused of murdering her daughter Sheena Bora, was rushed to a Mumbai hospital from jail on Friday after reportedly overdosing on anti-epileptic drugs, with authorities suspecting a suicide bid.
Doctors at Sir JJ Hospital in Byculla said the 43-year-old was receiving treatment in the institute’s critical care unit (CCU) after she fell unconscious in the afternoon amid reports that she was upset over her mother’s death on Thursday.
Dr Vijay Satbeer Singh, principal secretary (appeals and security) of the Maharashtra government, said late at night that Mukerjea’s condition was stable and she was responding to the treatment.
The CBI named her as an accused this week in the sensational Sheena Bora murder case as investigators suspect Mukerjea, her driver Shyam Rai and ex-husband Sanjeev Khanna abducted the victim three years ago, strangulated her in a car, burnt the body and dumped the remains in the thick forests of Maharashtra’s Raigad district.
“We suspect that she might have collected the drugs instead of taking them daily and consumed them at one go,” hospital dean Dr TP Lahane said. “Her MRI report is normal. We have sent her stomach wash for forensic testing.”
Mukerjea, the co-founder of INX Media, was arrested two months ago when the high-profile crime was discovered after an anonymous caller tipped off police and she has been in judicial custody since September 7.
The former media executive was lodged in Byculla jail after being shifted from Arthur Road prison.
The Maharashtra government handed over the case to the CBI following a slew of controversies over the Mumbai police’s probe and the role of former police commissioner Rakesh Maria, who was suddenly promoted out of his post. Indrani’s husband, former Star India CEO Peter Mukerjea, was also questioned several times by police in connection with the case.
“She was prescribed medicines for weakness and dizziness. According to the prison doctor, she was under medication till September 26,” said inspector general (prisons) Bipin Kumar Singh.
“Psychiatrists from Sir JJ Hospital used to come to the prison to check her. She had a history of not getting sleep and weakness since her first day in jail. On Friday morning, she felt dizzy and was immediately attended to by the jail doctor. We then called doctors from Sir JJ Hospital and after checking her, they recommended she be admitted to the institute.”
Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis ordered an investigation into the incident, which is the latest twist linked to the multi-layered case that has drawn eye-popping media coverage and transfixed the nation.
“Anti-epileptic drugs are given to control seizures. They are also given for mood stability. These drugs if taken in excess can affect a person’s gait, lead to drowsiness and may even put the person in a comatose state,” said psychiatrist Dr Y Matchiswalla, who has treated Mukerjea’s son Mikhail Bora. “I don’t remember prescribing her any medications,” he added.