Indrani Mukerjea, prime accused in the murder of her firstborn child Sheena Bora, briefly fainted in court on Sunday while younger daughter Vidhie wept as the magistrate allowed them to meet on the court premises.

    Besides allowing the emotional meeting, the court extended till September 5 the police custody of INX media co-founder Indrani and her two accomplices — Kolkata-based former husband Sanjeev Khanna and driver Shyam Rai — who were arrested this August for the gruesome murder of Sheena three years ago.

    Police pressed against Indrani the additional charge of attempting to kill Sheena’s sibling, Guwahati-based Mikhail Bora, following his allegation that their mother gave him a spiked drink on the day of the murder.

    Indrani, the wife of former media baron Peter Mukerjea, briefly fainted in the Bandra courtroom as the public prosecutor argued that their custody be further extended.

    The public prosecutor said investigators suspect the involvement of some others outside Maharashtra in the 2012 murder and so more interrogation of the accused trio was required.

    Read: Attempt to kill Mikhail added to charges in Sheena murder case

    Police still chased the motive behind Sheena’s murder and were trying to ascertain where the accused dumped the 24-year-old victim’s clothes, mobile phone and other belongings after the killing.

    Khanna’s lawyer argued that police were only awaiting the reports of the forensic tests and there was no need to extend his police custody. He could be sent to judicial custody instead.

    Indrani’s lawyers that alleged police were using pressure tactics such as manhandling her in custody to force a confession from her.

    Her lawyers wondered if there was anything more to ask since she had been interrogated for around 90 hours following her arrest on August 25. But investigators have contended that she and the other two accused have clammed up and not cooperating with the investigation.

    Indrani is accused of strangling Sheena in a car with the help of Khanna and the driver. Her body was later set on fire and buried in a forest in Raigad district on April 24, 2012.

    Police have found some of the skeletal remains after the driver, who was arrested on August 21 for keeping an unlicenced firearm, took officers to the secret burial site.

    (With inputs from agencies)

    Read: Cops take accused to Raigad to recreate crime scene

    Sheena murder probe to focus on passport, call records, money trail

    Full coverage: Sheena Bora murder mystery

Omar is his own worst enemy

  • Pankaj Vohra, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • |
  • Updated: Mar 06, 2011 12:54 IST

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah seems to be weakening his own case for continuation as the head of the government in the strife-ridden border state. By questioning J&K’s merger with India and speaking the language of some of the separatists, the CM has demonstrated his ignorance, as also his inexperience in both governance and realpolitik. He also seems unaware that several issues are being brought up that were addressed in an agreement signed between Indira Gandhi and his grandfather Sheikh Abdullah, whose legacy he claims to have inherited.

It is true that Omar is on a sticky wicket and may have said what he did on the floor of the assembly to deflect criticism against himself for his all-round failure and inability to rule the state despite a mandate obtained in the ‘fairest’ elections conducted by the Election Commission of India. He seems to have started believing that Rahul Gandhi’s support to him some weeks ago was enough and the Centre was duty-bound to back him even if he is unable to deliver. Rahul, in his apparent endorsement of young Omar, had recommended that he should be given more time. But, obviously, he too must never have imagined that his friend had erred in a major way while talking about the accession of the state to the Union of India.

Omar perhaps is not aware that the Jammu and Kashmir Constitution, adopted in 1956, also makes it abundantly clear that the state is an integral part of India. His father, Farooq Abdullah, had also recently stated the same in Delhi. Between the father and son — both members of the same party — there is certainly an element of double-speak. While Farooq is talking in one language in Delhi, Omar, in order to buy peace with the separatists, has started speaking their line.

The CM must understand that he cannot be selective in his dealings with the Centre. If there are some reservations that he has about some people in the Union government, they can easily be addressed. If he feels that Union Home Secretary G.K. Pillai exceeded his brief on the issue of lifting of the curfew, he should have taken it up with the prime minister and the home minister. He should know by now that Pillai does speak out of turn quite often and thus there is no need to make an issue out of it.

If Omar’s statement was in response to extreme positions taken by his main rival, the PDP, he must understand that the PDP chief Mufti Mohammad Sayeed and his daughter are in the opposition. They will obviously state certain things, which could appear to be orchestrated for the gallery. But he, as a responsible person (and chief minister), should show more restraint and maturity in dealing with matters.

He must know that his state is heavily dependent on the Centre for several of its requirements. Without Indian support many problems could get multiplied. There is certainly no attempt by anybody to undermine the special status J&K enjoys but there has to be an all-round realisation that India is a well-wisher and not an enemy of the people of J&K. Anybody can compare the living conditions in Pakistan-occupied territory and make up his or her mind as to which is better. The state is an integral part of India and some people living in 100 square miles of land in the Valley cannot determine its political agenda.

Omar Abdullah has been accused of running the state as ‘an outsider’. There was a lot of hope vested in him when he took over, but it seems to have vanished with his inadequate performance. He is considered as a part of the problem. The Centre seems to be in the process of exercising an option of changing the governor of the state, but the people’s disillusionment with the chief minister seems to be greater. While the hopes of many Generation-Next leaders are dependent on the success of the young CM, it is time the parties in the state look for a mature and better-informed alternative. Between us.


also read

For the Congress, there is no time to lose

blog comments powered by Disqus