MUMBAI: Indrani Mukherjea’s driver Shyamwar Rai, a co-accused in the Sheena Bora murder case who has now turned approver, made sensational revelations in a Mumbai court on Thursday, saying that his boss had strangled Sheena and “sat on her face”.
He said that Indrani also applied lipstick on Sheena’s face and made sure her hair looked good after killing her to evade any attention as they went to dispose of her body.
The driver also said that Indrani had confessed to him that she wanted to kill both Sheena and her brother Mikhail. During his cross-examination, he gave a detailed account of how he, along with Indrani and her ex-husband Sanjeev Khanna, had committed the murder, the motive behind the crime as well as the cover up.
Former media owners Indrani and her husband Peter Mukerjea, have been in jail since 2015 for the murder of Sheena Bora, who was Indrani's daughter by a previous marriage. Sheena was killed inside a car in 2012, but the crime only came to light three years later after the driver’s arrest, who is a key link in the case.
According to Rai, Indrani had told him over Skype that she wanted to kill Sheena and Mikhail because they were threatening to reveal that they were her children, and not her siblings, as she had been claiming. She told the driver that Sheena had demanded a three-bedroom flat in upscale Pali Hill, a car and a diamond ring to keep mum.
There were also some property disputes and Indrani was also against Sheena dating her stepson Rahul, he said. So, Rai said the three conspired to eliminate Sheena. He said Indrani had promised she would take care of his children’s education, all medical expenses and his job for life if he helped her.
On April 24, 2012, Indrani asked him to drive towards Bandra, where Khanna also joined them. “She had set up a meeting with Sheena. Indrani said she had promised to gift Sheena the ring on that day. It was only because of this Sheena agreed to meet her, Indrani told me,” he said. When the two met, Indrani allegedly gave her water laced with drugs and shoved her into the car.
“Sanjeev Khanna got up and sat in the back, next to Sheena. Then madam told me to cover Sheena's mouth. I turned and saw Sanjeev Khanna was holding Sheena's hair and madam was pressing her neck using both her hands,” he said.
They then drove towards Pali Hill, and soon after, Khanna left. “Sheena was lying on the back seat. Indrani madam sat on Sheena’s face. She said ‘now she got her 3- BHK flat’,” Rai told the court.
The driver said Indrani stuffed Sheena’s body into a bag and Khanna rejoined them. But later, her body was taken out of the bag and kept in the rear seat of the car, he said. “Sheena was made to sit behind my seat in the car. Madam then asked me to switch off my mobile phone. We then went towards Pen road. She asked me to stop at a petrol pump and get some fuel in a can,” he said during the cross examination.
“Indrani madam applied lipstick on Sheena Bora and made sure her hair looked good,” the driver said, adding that they then went towards Pen.
“Madam took a saree and gloves out of a bag. She kept them on the body. She even kept the bag on her (Sheena). She then poured petrol over her (Sheena), took out a matchstick from her pocket and burnt her (Sheena),” he told the court.
After burning the body, he said Indrani told him to drop her to Bandra, where she stopped for coffee. He said he was told to keep quiet or he would face dire consequences.