It is a question which has baffled Mumbai police all along: why did Kolkata-based businessman Sanjeev Khanna partnered with his former wife, disgraced media entrepreneur Indrani Mukerjea, to allegedly murder Sheena Bora?
More so because of the fact that Sanjeev and Indrani had an acrimonious split years ago and had even fought a bitter custody battle over their daughter Vidhie.
Vidhie was later adopted by Peter Mukerjea after he married Indrani in 2002.
Mumbai police believe that cracking this mystery would give them a clear line of investigation in the high-profile murder of Sheena, Indrani’s daughter from an earlier marriage.
Police claim Sanjeev, arrested earlier this week, confessed to killing Sheena, 24, on April 24, 2012 on Friday. Indrani was arrested along with her driver Shyam Manav Manohar Rai, earlier after the latter named her in the murder.
Sanjeev Khanna confesses complicity in Sheena Bora murder: Police
Though police are yet to establish the motive for the murder of Sheena, it is believed that Indrani did not approve of Sheena’s affair with Rahul Mukerjea, Peter’s son from an earlier marriage.
Indrani had all along claimed that Sheena was her sister.
The police believe it was Indrani who persuaded Khanna to travel to Mumbai in April 2012 and participate in the murder, but want to know how and why she got back in touch with Sanjeev.
Police sources said to persuade Sanjeev, she allegedly told him that if Sheena and Rahul were to get married, Vidhie would lose a substantial share of her inheritance from Peter.
Indrani believed that Peter was closer to his two sons than to Vidhie, and feared Rahul’s association with Sheena, said a police source. The police also believe Sanjeev received a windfall from Indrani for participating in the crime, including a flat at Howrah.
Sanjeev became a suspect after Shyam Rai, Indrani’s driver, told the police about his involvement in Sheena’s murder.
Arrested for the illegal possession of a gun, Shyam told the police that Indrani had telephoned Sanjeev on the night of April 2, 2012, after which she booked a room at Hotel Hilltop, Worli. Sanjeev arrived in Mumbai on the next day and stayed at the hotel.
Khanna, according to police officials, is the person who strangulated Sheena Bora in an Opel Astra.
The body was later burnt and dumped in a thickly forested area in Pen tehsil of Raigad district.
Police also said the plan to kill Sheena was hatched six or seven days before she was allegedly strangulated.
The police are in the process of scanning phone calls and emails between Indrani and Sanjeev to piece together details of the murder plot. Police have also recovered the Sheena Bora's skeletal remains as well as her passport.
Mumbai police commissioner Rakesh Maria told reporters late on Friday about Khanna’s confession and the recovery of Sheena’s passport from Dehradun, nailing the lie that she had gone to the United States for higher education.
A police source said that on the day of murder, Indrani’s husband Peter Mukerjea was in London with Vidhie.