Mumbai Police raided former media tycoon Indrani Mukerjea’s ex-husband Sanjeev Khanna’s Kolkata residence on Wednesday and seized documents related to his three bank accounts, likely to provide vital clues in solving the sensational Sheena Bora murder case.
Police believe the crime was financially motivated and are certain the bank details will establish the money trail which enabled Khanna to purchase a palatial building in a Kolkata suburb and a stake in a plush restaurant in the heart of the city.
Mumbai Police also seized a laptop from Khanna’s associate Ajay Rawla’s residence and suspect the computer was used by Khanna to speak with Indrani -- wife of former Star India CEO Peter Mukerjea -- via Skype before the murder.
"They will be examining whether they can retrieve Skype records," said an officer at the Alipore police station.
The high-profile crime was unearthed after an anonymous caller tipped off the police, leading to the arrest of her mother Indrani on August 25, and Khanna a day later.
Indrani is suspected of killing her 24-year-old daughter with the help of Khanna and driver Shyam Rai. The trio allegedly strangled her in a car in a desolate Mumbai lane on April 24, 2012 and dumped her body the next day after burning it in a forest in Maharashtra’s Raigad region.
Peter was also interrogated on Wednesday and sources said the police questioned him in the presence of Indrani, Khanna and Rai.
For over a week now, investigators have struggled to put together the pieces in the complex case but now believe financial papers and the mystery caller hold the key.
The team first went to Khanna's residence in central Kolkata’s Alipore, where they found the bank papers but not the laptop. At this point, they were tipped off that Khanna was seen carrying a laptop bag on the morning of August 26, the day he was arrested from Rawla's home, sources told HT. The police officers then headed for the Rawla residence nearby and found the device there.
Officials close to the probe have said Indrani was planning an offshore venture in Singapore. For this, she had allegedly asked Sheena to give back the money she allegedly parked in the latter’s bank account.
The INX co-founder was also reportedly unhappy about Sheena and her stepson Rahul Mukerjea being in a relationship and feared if they married, Peter would transfer his wealth to the duo and her daughter with Khanna, Vidhie, would be excluded, sources said. They said she may have used this argument to convince Khanna to join hands to kill Sheena.
(with inputs from agencies)