Police in Mumbai are now trying to get hold of CCTV footage of the car in which Sheena Bora was murdered in April 2012, in a bid to expedite the investigation in the three-year-old case.
Officials have struggled to put together the pieces in the complex case and establish a motive for the high-profile murder ever since media mogul Peter Mukerjea's wife Indrani Mukerjea was arrested in connection with the murder. INX media co-founder Indrani was Sheena's mother.
Investigators are also searching for independent witnesses, if any. On the night of April 24 in 2012, Rahul Mukerjea, former Star TV CEO Peter Mukerjea’s son from his first marriage, dropped Sheena in suburban Bandra where she met Indrani.
Officials said since Rahul dropped Sheena in Bandra and left, he was one of the witnesses. Rahul was in a relationship with the victim, and he has said he received a break-up text from her the day she died.
Sheena travelled in the car along with Indrani, her former husband Sanjeev Khanna and driver Shyamvar Rai. The trio allegedly murdered Sheena inside the car. Both Khanna, a Kolkata-based businessman, and Rai have confessed to their involvement in the crime.
Police are also in the process of tracking down the Opel Corsa car. Sources in the police said they have tracked down the agency which gave the car on rent.
"We have identified the car and have learnt that it was hired from a person in Mumbai. The vehicle has yet to be seized,” said a source in Mumbai police on condition of anonymity.
In a statement to the police, Rai said Indrani called Khanna on the night of April 23, 2012 and had a long conversation. Khanna flew down to Mumbai the next day and stayed at a hotel booked by Indrani. Around 7pm, both went to Bandra in a car and picked up Sheena.
Rai told the police Khanna strangled Sheena, packed the body in a bag with Indrani’s help and stowed it away in the trunk of the car. The driver said he then drove to a secluded forested place near Gagode village in Raigad, where they poured petrol over the bag and set it on fire. They left the place only after Indrani and Khanna were sure the bag was completely burnt and there were no remains, Rai said.
“During the journey, the car crossed at least two toll plazas to reach Raigad and footage of the vehicle and its occupants will be a crucial piece of evidence for the case. We are in the process of finding the footage,” said a police source.
Officials have also seized the booking register of hotel Hilltop in Worli, where Khanna used to stay whenever he visited Mumbai.
Meanwhile, police said the skull, bones and other remains of Sheena that were found from Raigad’s Gagode Budruk village on Friday were sent for forensic analysis.
Investigators added they are yet to reconstruct the sequence of events, which will be done soon after taking all the accused persons to Raigad.