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

Celebrities flock to Rio Carnival extravaganza

  • AFP, Rio De Janeiro
  • |
  • Updated: Feb 11, 2013 13:04 IST

South Korean singer Psy (R) smiles at the Sambadrome in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Photo: AFP/Vanderlei Almeida

As world celebrities watched, top samba schools paraded their elaborate fantasy floats and scantily-clad beauty queens Sunday in the fiery highlight of the Rio Carnival.

The floats were packed with dancers wearing huge headgear, feathers, sequins, body paint and little else.

Inocentes de Belford Roxo was the first school to perform late Sunday at the 72,500-seat Rio Sambodrome, paying a colorful homage to Korean culture in Brazil. The theme called "the Seven confluences of the Han River" invoked the protection of an ancient Korean wind goddess called Yondung Halmoni.

Over the next two nights, a total of 12 schools will parade before a global television audience, competing for the title of Carnival champion.

The VIP guests at the open-air Sambodrome included the 26-year-old American actress Megan Fox, of "Transformers" fame, who was hired to promote Brahma Beer, a popular Brazilian lager.

"I'd love to be Brazilian. I wish I had the Brazilian butt," Fox told reporters. "I'll stay until bedtime. It's an opportunity of a lifetime."

Other celebrities include TV reality show star Kim Kardashian and boyfriend rapper Kanye West; Italian actress Monica Bellucci and her French husband, actor Vincent Cassel; and "Men in Black" star Will Smith, who earlier visited a favela, or shanty town.

In the northeastern city of Salvador, South Korean pop star Psy performed his hit "Gangam Style" to huge crowds Friday alongside Brazilian stars Claudia Leitte, Gilberto Gil and Daniela Mercury.

US movie director Spike Lee was among the celebrity audience.

Unlike the ubiquitous Carnival street parties that are open to all, the Sambodrome parades are mainly for the wealthy and foreign tourists.

Carnival is Brazil's most important festival and is celebrated with equal gusto across the country, including in Sao Paulo, Salvador, Recife, Olinda, Manaus and Porto Alegre.

In the northeastern state of Sergipe, the Carnival celebrations were marred by the death of a 11-year-old child when a driver lost control his sound truck and it collided with a police car, according to press reports.

The reports said 20 other people, including another 11-year-old, were injured in the accident, which was blamed on defective brakes on the truck.

This year there is a special tribute to Koreans to mark the 50th anniversary of their immigration to the country.

Parades in Rio and Sao Paulo are honoring Korean history and technological prowess and the contribution the 50,000-strong Korean community in Brazil has made to this vibrant and racially diverse country of 194 million people.

"It's a historic moment, a recognition of the contribution Koreans have made to Brazilian society," said Marcelo Choi, vice president of the Sao Paulo-based Korean-Brazilian Association.

Dubbed "the greatest show on Earth," the Rio Carnival officially got under way Friday, when the legendary King Momo received a giant key to the city from Mayor Eduardo Paes.

Meanwhile, press reports said authorities have deployed an innovative urinal which can convert urine into electrical energy.

The daily O Globo said the urine collected activates a dynamo which produces energy that can be stored in batteries in a process similar to that used in hydroelectrical power plants.

Officials hope that the device, developed by the cultural group Afro-Reggae, will help curb the practice by revelers to relieve themselves in the streets.

And the energy collected will help fuel the batteries of the huge sound trucks that belt out samba rhythms along Ipanema beach.

Authorities said six million people, including more than 900,000 tourists, were expected to attend the five-day Rio bash.


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