Shyamwar Rai’s decision to become a prosecution witness may give an important twist to the case.
While making a plea to turn approver, Rai told the court he was present when Sheena was strangulated. In his confession, which was accessed by HT and which will now be the key evidence for the prosecution, Rai said Sheena’s murder was plotted by her mother Indrani Mukerjea and executed by Sanjeev Khanna, Indrani’s ex-husband. He also gave a step-by-step account of how the conspiracy was hatched and the role played by each accused. Rai, in his statement, said Indrani conducted a reconnaissance near Gagode village in Pen tehsil of Raigad district on April 23, 2012, a day before Sheena was murdered.
Rai confessed before the police that Indrani had a long phone conversation with Khanna on April 23 and had booked a hotel room for him. Khanna arrived in Mumbai and stayed at the hotel the next day, he alleged.
At 7pm, Indrani and Sanjeev went to Bandra, picked up Sheena, and drove to Raigad.
In his statement, he said Indrani helped him put her body in a bag, which was kept in the boot of the car. Rai added he then drove them to a forest near Gagode village, where they poured petrol on the bag and set it on fire.
They left the place only after they were sure the bag was completely burnt, Rai told the police.