Siddhartha Das's mother has confirmed reports that he was the biological father of Sheena Bora, a 22-year-old girl allegedly murdered in 2012 by her mother, former media honcho Indrani Mukerjea.
Mayarani Das, 70, said Siddhartha was alive and lived in Kolkata. She could not, however, give the exact location of his residence. A relative who did not wish to be named said Siddhartha lived "somewhere in the Kalighat area".
The local police had earlier mistaken a Shillong-based 50-year-old man named Siddhartha Das, who died a few years ago, as Mukerjea's former husband and Sheena's father.
"Yes, Sheena and Mikhail are my grandchildren. They are the children of my son and Indrani," Mayarani Das told reporters at her modest house on Banamali Road in southern Assam's Karimganj town.
Karimganj district police confirmed Mayarani has a son named Siddhartha from the 1997 voters' list. "We sent a constable to confirm the house," district superintendent of police Pradip Ranjan Kar said.
Siddhartha's name, however, does not figure in the 2014 voters' list.
"My son went to Arunachal Pradesh to work in a private firm after his divorce in 1993. He moved to Kolkata a few years later and got married there," Mayarani Das said.
The name of Siddhartha's second wife, Babli, figures in the 1997 voters list under Ward 14 (Block 1) of Karimganj town.
Mayarani knows her son is alive and doing well in Kolkata, but he hardly maintains contact with her.
She declined to speak beyond her son and the recollection of her grandchildren as infants, as "I don't want to be embroiled in this case at such an age".
But her assertion that she is Sheena and Mikhail's paternal grandmother puts a question mark on the birth certificate used for Sheena's admission in her school in Guwahati. The certificate shows her maternal grandparents - Upendra Kumar Bora and Durga Ranee Bora - as her parents.
It also puts a name to the 'S Das' mentioned as father in Indrani's 1993 affidavit that says Upendra and Durga Bora have adopted Sheena and Mikhail as their children.