A murder most foul has been committed. With characters and players so dark that this sensational case could be a script for a Hollywood thriller. A young girl in love, a jilted lover, an insecure trophy wife and a clueless TV tycoon totally besotted with his young and glamorous wife. This is a story about blackmail, secret pasts, possibly money and love too.
Former Star India and INX Group head Peter Mukerjea's wife Indrani was arrested on Tuesday for allegedly murdering her sister Sheena Bora and dumping her body in a forested area.
The story, which is rather unbelievable and has uncanny twists and turns, unravles like this. Peter Mukerjea, one of the key figures in the growth of private television channels in India, joined Star in 1993 as sales director (India) in Hong Kong and was posted to India shortly afterwards to establish the group's advertising sales division here. He was introduced to Indrani through Alyque Padamsee, at a time when she was working as an HR consultant at Star India and Peter was the CEO. According to a report in mumbaimirror.com, the two bonded over their mutual dislike for marriage, and Peter proposed to Indrani at their fourth meeting. They married in 2002. Indrani at that time was known to have been married to one Sanjeev Khanna, a businessman from Kolkata and they had one daugther together Vidhie, whom later Peter legally adopted.
Peter and Indrani Mukherjea were well known in society circles. Indrani had earlier introduced heena Bora as her sister and Mikhail Bora as her brother. In 2012, Sheena disappeared from Bombay and Indrani is known to have said that she was pursuing her education in the USA. Sheena was also allegedly having an affair with Peter's son Rahul from a previous marraige, and the two lived together in an apartment in Khar. Though Peter and Indrani were aware of the alleged affair, it was believed that Indrani did not approve. After Sheena's disappearance in 2012 Rahul allegedly told his father that Sheena was, in fact, Indrani's daughter from an earlier marriage and not her sister. Refusing to believe his son, relations between Peter and his son became strained and they did not remain in touch for over three years.
A decomposed and unidentified body of a young woman was discovered in the forested area of Raigad in 2012, however the connection to Indrani Mukherjea was established when Mumbai police had arrested and interrogated Indrani's driver Shyamvar Pinturam Rai for another unrelated crime. During the course of the interrogation, the driver disclosed that his employer and her ex-husband Khanna, had strangulated Sheena inside a car in Mumbai. It is learnt that after the murder, the car with the body inside was parked in Mr. Mukherjea’s garage and the next day (April 25, 2012), the body was dumped, an article in thehindu.com reported.
"Although the motive behind the murder still remains a mystery, we are probing all the angles as we strongly suspect honour killing in this case," a police inspector said told PTI as per a report in firstpost.com.
As per the same report, after killing Sheena, Indrani was even planning to kill her son Mikhail who was living with her parents in Guwahati, police officials told the Times of India. The police say that Sanjeev, Indrani's second husband, wanted to ensure that Indrani's property in Guwahati went to his daughter as well.