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Interview | 'I Had a Perfectly Fine Relationship with Sheena': Indrani Mukerjea

Indrani Mukerjea, accused in the Sheena Bora murder case, opens up about her life in jail and equation with family.

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(The following interview was first published in August 2023. It has been reposted from The Quint's archives ahead of the release of a Netflix documentary series titled 'The Indrani Mukerjea Story: Buried Truth' on 23 February.)

Video Editor: Puneet Bhatia

Camera: Shiv Kumar Maurya

In April 2012, the disappearance of Sheena Bora, a Mumbai-based executive, evolved into a sensational murder investigation that generated huge curiosity among the public.

Three years later, in August 2015, the arrest of Indrani Mukerjea, a former media baron and founder of INX Media, along with her then-husband Peter Mukerjea and their driver, for the alleged kidnapping and murder of Bora, dominated the headlines.

On 18 May 2022, the Supreme Court granted bail to Indrani in relation to the alleged murder of her 25-year-old daughter. The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has been leading the investigation since taking over the case from the Mumbai Police in September 2015. As per the police, Sheena was abducted and strangled to death in April 2012.

The Quint spoke to Indrani Mukerjea, now the author of her memoir titled, Unbroken: The Untold Story.
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Besides recounting her childhood in Guwahati, the time she spent in Calcutta in the 1980s to her rise as a media baron, Mukerjea claims that her book shatters all the rumours that have surrounded her all along during the 2460 days she was held as 'Prisoner No. 1468' in Byculla jail.

'Everyone Forgot I had a Voice, Too'

She told The Quint, "The untold story is about decimating all the baseless rumours that were spread".

Claiming that this is her attempt to set the record straight, Indrani added, “This book is essentially my voice. Everyone forgot that I had a voice, too. So, it was the right moment I was waiting for and now it is out”.

Recounting the experience following her arrest, she told The Quint, “I was in a state of shock. Because I was like, why me? What is it that I have done or not done to deserve this?” She claimed that she was grappling with two significant emotional challenges during that period: the grief of the loss of a child on one hand, and the accusation on the other.

She further added, “When I went into prison, Peter's family was my only family. My parents were aging and everybody had carried on with their own lives. Children were grown up. So that was my only family. They abandoned me.”

According to the CBI, Indrani Mukerjea killed Sheena because she was furious over the relationship between Sheena, whom she introduced to everyone as her sister, and Rahul Mukerjea, the son of her third husband, Peter Mukerjea.

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'Had a Very Good Relationship with Sheena'

Talking about her relationship with Sheena, Indrani claimed, “I had a very good relationship with Sheena. Despite all the rumours people like to spread, I had a much closer relationship with her than I have even today with my younger daughter Vidhie.”

She added, “We became close during the period when she was in Bombay. Until, of course, Rahul walked in and things started changing and then her focus obviously shifted to Rahul because that happens as people move into other relationships. You have lesser time with your parents.”

When questioned about the reason for writing the book, Indrani explained to The Quint that penning it served as a form of emotional release for her. She said, “This book is a catharsis. I needed to finally just bring everything out in the open. It was very important to me. Also, people need to know me completely in the bare and raw, to be able to have any form of relationship with me, whether they are an acquaintance or a friend or a companion.”

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