Is Indrani Mukherjea’s Daughter Sheena Bora Really Alive?

It was 2008. The place was INX Media office at Grant Road in Mumbai. The office of NewsX was new and the paint was still smelling fresh, the furniture was brand new and the colours were vibrant. The excitement and anxiety were in the air, because 2 months after our training in Delhi, our young team of reporters, was back in Mumbai and we were all set to meet the owner of the channel – the big boss, Indrani Mukherjea and the wife of the then media moghul, Peter Mukherjea, who was the co-founder of the INX media.

But Indrani was the lady about whom, we knew frighteningly little, and were told, that of all the 3 channels she owns – 9X, 9XM and NewsX – NewsX was closest to her heart, because she really wanted to make a difference, with the way news of gathered and presented in India, at the time. She wanted to meet the core team and “brief” us about her vision, before we go in for the big launch.

That is my first memory of Indrani Mukherjea. Dressed sharply in a dark coloured Saree and a sleeveless blouse, hair left loose and wearing kajal in her eyes, she sat infront of us in the conference room and told us how we were going to be the “BBC of India” and not the regular “ambulance chasing” news channel like others. We will be sharp, anlytical, incisive and blunt and not a breaking news channel. After that day, till the time she was part of the channel, I would often meet her in the office premises, which was huge, because INX Media had taken over 3 floors in the Apasara Theatre building, at the prime south Mumbai location of Grant Road. She would often greet me with a warm smile and hello and ask me about how it’s all going. I always had doubts about her editorial and business acumen, but imagine my horror when she was arrested by the Khar police on August 25, 2015 for allegedly killing her own daughter Sheena Bora, who she had earlier introduced as her sister.

Of course, I had long quit NewsX by then and moved on, but the Sheena Bora murder case had shocked the nation and sent the media into a tizzy. The Times of India called it Prime Time Murder and really it was. The story had all the trappings of a twisted Bollywood thriller and a murder mystery, with human relationships at the very core of it.

But why am I giving you this blast from the past. Well, because Indrani Mukherjea, who went from being a corporate bosslady to a murder accused has just made a sensational claim.

She has written to the CBI claiming Sheena Bora is alive and has asked the agency to investigate, adding a bizarre new twist to the already convoluted case.

Indrani, allegedly killed Sheena, because she was enraged with her over her relationship with Rahul Mukerjea – Peter Mukerjea’s son from an earlier marriage – according to the CBI, which took over the case in late 2015, after months of investigation by the Mumbai police.

Now, Indrani Mukherjea has claimed that she met a woman prisoner, who told her, she had met Sheena Bora somewhere in Srinagar in Kashmir. Indrani has now written to the CBI chief regarding this. Her lawyer Sana Khan confirmed that Indrani has written to the CBI but also said that she doesn’t have any more details on what exactly she wrote in the letter. Indrani’s lawyer said that they will move a formal application for her client’s bail soon. Sources say investigators are not taking her claims too seriously.

49 year old Indrani Mukherjea has been in Mumbai’s Byculla prison since 2015. She was arrested for the murder of 25-year-old Sheena Bora, her daughter from her first marriage, whom she had passed off as her sister for years.

Indrani Mukerjea was allegedly helped by her driver Shyamvar Rai and her second husband Sanjeev Khanna in killing and disposing off Sheena’s body.

The CBI also said Sheena Bora had threatened to expose her mother after a financial dispute between the two.

After the murder, Indrani allegedly told everyone that Sheena had moved to the US and continued writing emails from her account to cover her tracks.

Three years on, the murder surfaced when Indrani Mukherjee’s driver was arrested in a separate case and upon questioning, he started spilling the beans on what had happened on the fateful evening of April 24th 2012.

On that day, Sheena took a leave of absence and “sent in her written resignation.” On the same day, Rahul Mukerjea, who actually is Sheena’s step-brother, but the two were dating, received a breakup SMS from Sheena’s phone. Her mother, Indrani, said that Sheena had gone to the United States for higher studies and hence a missing First Information Report was never filed. Sheena was never seen after 24 April 2012.

On Rahul’s insistence, police visited Indrani’s Worli residence where they were informed by the staff that Indrani was out of India. Upon her return, Indrani visited the Worli police station and informed the police that Rahul was trying to stalk Sheena and that was why Sheena had moved to the United States without informing him.

On 24 April 2012, Sheena’s first pati Sanjeev Khanna had flown to Mumbai and checked into the Hotel Hilltop at Worli. Shyamvar Rai alleged that Indrani had rented an Opel Corsa car to facilitate abduction of Sheena and for disposal of her body. He said Indrani, had earlier asked Sheena to meet her on the evening of 24th April 2012 and, though reluctant, she had agreed. At about 6 PM that day, Indrani was joined by her ex-husband at his hotel in Worli. An hour later, when Sheena was dropped off by Rahul Mukerjea near National College on Linking Road in Bandra, Indrani, Sanjeev and driver Shyamvar Rai were there to meet her. According to the driver, Indrani sat next to him while Sheena was in the rear seat with Sanjeev Khanna. He said they took her to one of the by-lanes in Bandra and Sanjeev Khanna strangled her.

The police claimed that, after the murder, Sheena’s body was taken to Indrani’s house on Worli where it was put in a bag and stuffed in the trunk of the car.

Shyamvar Rai alleged that Sanjeev Khanna later left for his hotel while Indrani stayed home and he slept inside the car with the body in the trunk. In the early hours of 25 April 2012, he said, the three accused drove to the village of Gagode in Pen tehsil in Raigad district. Concerned about the possibility of police checks, they propped Sheena’s body up between Indrani and Khanna on the rear seat, as if asleep, rather than putting it in the boot.

Indrani Mukherjea is lodged at the Byculla women’s prison since 2015

At 4 AM on the next day, that is on 25th April 2012, they dragged the body out of the car in an isolated spot in the forest, stuffed it back into the bag, poured petrol over it and set it ablaze. After the body was completely burnt, the accused returned to Mumbai. Sanjeev Khanna left Mumbai later that day.

Based on the driver’s statement, Sheena’s half-burnt body was dug up from a forest at Gagode Khind village in Raigad near Mumbai. Sanjeev Khanna is also currently in jail and has repeatedly pleaded that his health is deterrorating and he is not getting adequate treatment

Three months after Indrani’s arrest, her then husband Peter Mukerjea was also arrested on charges of helping his wife killer her own daughter from her first husband. But Indrani and Peter, who were once a toast of the media industry and who had together launched one of the most ambitious media ventures in general entertainment, music and news had themselves become the biggest news story of the country. The two had a bitter fallout while they were in Jail and eventually they divorced each other. Peter was granted bail last year, but Indrani continues to languish in jail.

What are your thoughts on the latest claims by Indrani and this amazingly complex crime story. Let me know in comments.

Published by Reviewron

Senior Journalist with 14-years-experience at channels like Times Now, NewsX, Zoom and Radio City. Now, Rotten Tomatoes approved global critic for the Times of India and BBC India Correspondent in Dubai. News Presenter at Radio 4, Dubai This is my independent channel for clarity in chaos in News, Views, Reviews and vivid Experiences. Connect on Instagram @reviewron, Twitter @ronakkotecha and email

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