Indrani Mukerjea killed her daughter Sheena Bora over her relationship with her step-brother Rahul Mukerjea and the division of the family’s assets were they to get married, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has said.
The investigating agency relied on 193 witnesses, including Rahul, 160 documents and text and email message between various members of the family to file a charge sheet in the case.
According to the CBI, Indrani was opposed to Sheena’s relationship with Rahul, who is her husband Peter Mukerjea’s son from his first marriage, as she was afraid of losing her share in Peter’s assets if the young couple wed. Sheena is Indrani’s daughter with her first husband, Siddhartha Das. Co-accused Sanjeev Khanna is Indrani’s second husband and Peter is her third.
Vidhie, Indrani’s daughter with Khanna, even tried to warn Sheena and Rahul that her mother was plotting something in a text message to Rahul, in which she addressed Sheena, in March 2011.
“Umm Sheena this should stay between us 2 only… u and Rahul should be careful cause mama [Indrani] is getting worried about you 2 so I’m just warning you guys… anything might come across. Please do not say anything because I will actually be dead. If not dead mama will do something soooooooo bad… trust me… I really need your consent this… mama says she does not want to break up the relationship she wants to get someone out of the way… and I’ve just heard something excotic (sic). Please reply back… xxxxx,” Vidhie wrote.
Rahul and Sheena had been living together for some time and the two also got engaged. They got engaged with the consent of Shabnam, Rahul’s mother, and his maternal grandparents in October 2011 in Dehradun.
According to a CBI source, there was also a dispute over the money the Mukerjeas got from selling 9X Media, which they had founded in 2007 as two companies —INX Media Pvt Ltd and INX News Pvt Ltd — in 2007.
They were later merged and renamed 9X Media before the couple exited the firm two years later. Indrani had allegedly deposited some money from the proceeds under Sheena’s name who later refused to return the sum as Indrani had refused to accept her as her daughter, a police source said.
Indrani also allegedly tried to poison Sheena, but she was saved after a friend of her took her to Guwahati. Indrani later tried to give Sheena medications that could have affected her mental state while she was in Bengaluru, the source added.
Sheena’s brother Mikhail felt that something was fishy had even warned Sheena to be wary of Indrani in an e-mail, according to a CBI source. In its charge sheet, the CBI also said that Indrani even used Mikhail to send an email threatening to disinherit Sheena from the ancestral property in Guwahati.
In one of the last emails, Sheena wrote to her mother Indrani on March 9, 2012, asking why she was threatening to cut off financial aid to her grandparents if she went to Guwahati with Rahul or got married to him.
“Why do all of that? Why pressurize them into keeping me away from home?” Sheena asked.
“The highlighted lines above I wrote those lines last night thinking you are the one pressurizing Aita and Kaka into whatever, till I suddenly got bombarded with text messages today from Kaka saying this: ‘This SMS is confirmation that we have decided to change our will and disinherited you from our property as sign of disapproval of your relationship with Rahul. We hope that we have made our stand very clear. Do not try and contact us while you are in relationship with Rahul’,” she added.
Sheena asked Indrani to clarify who was behind the text messages and told her “you should have either not given birth to me or not left with me your parents. Why did not you take me with you?”
“What and where has all of this left me now? All of this has left me really hurt and devastated once again. I am very happy and safe with Rahul, should not that be the most important thing for parents/loved ones? You did whatever gave you happiness in life, even I deserve the same. Why are you upset because of it? I am your daughter. I have some of you in me. I will find my way through and be just fine,” Sheena said in the email.
Indrani did everything she could to end her relationship with Rahul and when her efforts failed she coaxed Khanna and promised Shyamwar Rai, her driver of 10 years, a decent livelihood for participating in the plot to kill Sheena, according to the investigating agency.
The three allegedly murdered Sheena on April 24, 2012, by strangling her in a car in the bylanes of Bandra before dumping and burning her body in a forest in Raigad district about 120 km from Mumbai.