Sheena Bora's passport recovered from her boyfriend Rahul Mukerjea's residence in Dehradun will be crucial in the murder case as it proves the victim was Indrani Mukerjea's daughter and could not have travelled to the US, Mumbai police has said.
On Friday night, Mumbai police commissioner Rakesh Maria said: "We have recovered Sheena Bora's passport from Dehradun. This negates the theory that Sheena went to the US."
Officials said Indrani told Rahul and others, including her husband and media baron Peter Mukerjea, that Sheena had gone to the US. Indrani even told Sheena's friends that she had decided to move abroad.
When Rahul asked Indrani where Sheena was, she told him that her daughter had gone to the US and did not want to be in a relationship with him anymore. When he asked her how Sheena had travelled to the US without her passport, which was with him, Indrani had told him she'd had another passport made. He subsequently moved to Dehradun to live with his mother Shabnam.
Rahul and Sheena lived together in Mumbai from 2009 to 2012, during which time Rahul was unemployed.
Police officials said that statements of persons whom Indrani had contacted, messaged or emailed will be recorded to prove her culpability in Sheena's murder. Also, they are scrutinising the call and email records of Indrani's ex-husband Sanjeev Khanna to unravel the missing links in the case.
Police sources told Hindustan Times that Khanna, who used to run a cable business in Kolkata, received a substantial amount of money from undisclosed sources soon after Sheena was murdered.
They added that 1658 Bar and Restaurant was started by Khanna and two others around three years ago.
It is also learnt that Indrani bought a flat for Khanna in Howrah roughly around the same period. Khanna was also supposedly involved in turning a Rajbari to a heritage resort at Budge Budge in 24 South Parganas.
The police will be investigating if Khanna received the money from Indrani.
The police will also look into an affidavit that Indrani filed in a court in Guwahati in 1989, in which she claimed that she was 20 years old and had two children, Sheena and Mikhail, aged 4 and 3 respectively.
In another development, sources told Hindustan Times that though bones are one of the best sources for DNA samples, it will be a challenging task to extract intact DNA from skeletons that have been lying in bacteria-rich soil for years.
On Saturday, the Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) in Kalina started the process of extracting DNA from the blood samples of Indrani Mukerjea and her driver Shyam Rai. But the samples of the bones and other body parts retrieved from the site where Sheena's body was allegedly dumped, is yet to reach the FSL. Rai's blood samples are being tested as part of the regular investigation procedure.