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Wednesday, Oct 23, 2019

Sheena Bora murder: CBI records statements of top police officers from Maharashtra

CBI recorded statements of Director General of police (Home Guards) Rakesh Maria, joint commissioner of police (Law and Order) Deven Bharti and deputy commissioner of police Satyanarayan Chaudhary

mumbai Updated: Oct 28, 2016 01:43 IST
Manish K Pathak
Manish K Pathak
Sheena Bora and her mother Indrani Mukherjea.
Sheena Bora and her mother Indrani Mukherjea.(PTI photo)

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) recorded the statement of the Director General of police (Home Guards) Rakesh Maria, former Mumbai commissioner who allegedly investigated the Sheena Bora murder case. CBI also recorded statements of joint commissioner of police (Law and Order) Deven Bharti and deputy commissioner of police Satyanarayan Chaudhary.

Confirming the development, CBI officials said all three officers were interviewed and their statements were recorded. Maria was questioned to find out if the former police commissioner knew media baron Peter Mukherjea and why did he visit Khar police station on four different occasions, said CBI sources.

Maria categorically told CBI officials he met Peter for the first time on September 7, 2015, at Khar police station with a group of police officers, including the joint commissioner of police (law and order), deputy commissioner of police and other investigators, said CBI sources.

To the question on why he had personally visited Khar police station on four different occasions, Maria told CBI officials that he had visited the police station on the first two occasions because Mumbai police believed the accused being highly influential would hire a battery of top lawyers, and the force wanted to ensure an equally competent lawyer to defend the prosecution case to ensure conviction, said CBI sources.

On the first occasion after a meeting was held between top police officials at Khar police station, the name of advocate Vaibhav Baghade was taken into consideration. Baghade too was called to the police station for his opinion on the case, said CBI sources. Maria said he visited the police station to ensure the veracity of Shyamwar Rai’s statement, as Rai was to be made an approver in the case and this was the third time he did so. The fourth occasion was on September 7, 2015, when Maria had gone to Khar police station to question Peter personally, said CBI sources.

However, he was transferred the next day. After which Ahmed Javed was appointed as the Mumbai police commissioner. But a few days later it came to the fore that Javed knew the Mukerjea’s socially and the state government unaware of it. Former DGP Sanjeev Dayal, who reviewed the case, recommended it be transferred to the CBI following which the state did the needful.

The case

Sheena Bora was allegedly killed on April 24, 2012 by her mother Indrani Mukerjea, her ex-husband Sanjeev Khanna and her driver Shyamvar Rai. Indrani was arrested on August 25, 2015 by the Khar police. This happened after Rai, who was first arrested in an arms act case on August 21 last year, named her and Khanna, and told the Khar police about the murder.

He also told the police that after murdering Sheena, they destroyed her body by burning it in the forest of Pen, Raigad. The three had also allegedly conspired and attempted to kill Sheena’s brother Mikhail on April 24, 2012, but he managed to flee to Guwahati. The police suspected the murder could be a fall out of Indrani disapproving Sheena and Rahul Mukerjea’s relationship; also the financial deals were being probed as a possible motive.

Indrani’s husband Peter Mukerjea had approached the joint commissioner of police (Law and Order) Deven Bharti back in 2012 and sought help to ‘trace’ Sheena. Peter, however, did not meet Bharti in person, but spoke over the phone requesting that he ‘trace’ Sheena using her mobile number, which he allegedly knew would be switched off.

Rahul had approached three police stations in Mumbai for help to search Sheena, but none took any interest. Sheena’s passport was with Rahul so he did not believe Indrani that she had left the country. When Rahul asked Peter about Sheena, the latter assured him that she was in the US and safe.

First Published: Oct 27, 2016 23:12 IST

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