TV top gun's wife held in murder case

Victim was daughter of accused: Friend

By Samyabrata Ray Goswami in Mumbai
  • Published 26.08.15
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Mumbai, Aug. 25: Indrani Mukerjea, whose husband Peter Mukerjea was once one of the most powerful television executives in the country, has been arrested in a murder case in Mumbai.

Police said Indrani was held on the charge of murdering her sister, Sheena Bora, in 2012. Sheena was 24 then.

However, an even more dramatic element was added tonight with a close family friend claiming that she had been told Sheena was Indrani's daughter from an earlier relationship. The claim could not be verified with either Peter, the former CEO of STAR India, or the legal representatives of Indrani who has been sent to police custody till August 31. But at least four other friends echoed the family friend.

The Mumbai police spokesperson, DCP (detention) Dhananjay Kulkarni, said Indrani had been arrested along with her driver this morning by Khar police.

"The two have been arrested and charged under sections 302 (murder), 201 (disposing evidence or giving false statements), 363 (kidnapping) and 34 (common intention) of the IPC. We are still talking to her," Kulkarni said in the evening.

Sheena's remains were found by the police in Raigad district, 112km from Mumbai, following which a case of murder was registered against unknown persons in 2012. Her identity was eventually established.

The family source said Indrani had introduced Sheena to Mumbai society as her sister. But, the source said, Sheena and a younger boy were born to Indrani when she was in a relationship with a person who divided his time between Calcutta and Tripura. The family friend said Indrani was married to another person with interests in Calcutta and Jamshedpur before she became Peter's wife.

Sheena and her brother, who works in an airline now, were brought up by their maternal grandparents in Guwahati.

The children eventually moved to Mumbai and Sheena did her graduation from St. Xavier's College there.

After Indrani married Peter, who made a name for himself at the helm of STAR India and during whose tenure the blockbuster Kaun Banega Crorepati was launched, Sheena moved in with the family. The family friend said Sheena, who was known as Indrani's sister, became close to Peter's son from an earlier marriage. It is not clear whether the alleged relationship played any role in Sheena's death.

The police started treating Indrani as a "person of interest" after they were tipped off that her driver Shyam Rai had been seen frequenting the place in Raigad from where Sheena's body was found.

Indrani is a human resource consultant and a co-founder of a TV group with which she is no longer associated. Indrani had more or less disappeared from the celebrity circuit in the past few years and was said to be spending a lot of time in the UK.

Sheena's last Facebook post was in December 2011 and she was not seen since. When some friends had asked about Sheena's whereabouts, they said, they were told that she was abroad for some treatment. After her studies, Sheena used to work with a well-known company.

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY ANANYA SENGUPTA