A Fresh Theory: Was Sheena Bora Pregnant When She Was Killed? 

Was Indrani Mukerjea desperate to save a huge sum of money that a pregnant Sheena Bora had laid claim to? Read here.

Updated
India
5 min read
Sheena Bora, who was allegedly killed by her mother Indrani Mukerjea. (Photo has been altered by The Quint)

Was Sheena Bora Pregnant?

Even as the sordid and unsavoury details of Indrani Mukerjea’s dark and murky personal and professional life continue to emerge, we are learning that the most proximate motive for her to murder her daughter Sheena Bora may have been a desperate need to safeguard her finances and prevent a certain element of personal life from going public.

Close friends of the Mukerjeas suggest that when Sheena was killed – first strangulated and then her body left half burnt in Pen village of Raigad in Maharashtra – she was suspected to have been a few months pregnant with the baby of a man “very, very close” to Indrani. These friends reveal that sometime before the Mukerjeas’ electronic media business ended, the man told Indrani that he would be visiting Thailand on a weekend to meet some prospective business partners. In reality, however, this man spent some intimate time with Sheena in a Thai town.

Rahul Mukerjea, Sheena Bora, Indrani Mukerjea and Peter Mukerjea.
Rahul Mukerjea, Sheena Bora, Indrani Mukerjea and Peter Mukerjea.

A Secret Trip to Thailand

This was discovered by Indrani by chance, the friends said. She was leafing through one of Sheena’s books, a little after she returned from Thailand, when she found the stub of the flight’s boarding pass and immediately inferred that this man and Sheena had gone to Thailand together.

But such intimacy took place on the man’s belief that Sheena was Indrani’s sister as that was his understanding of their relationship. Close friends of the Mukerjeas say he was not aware that Sheena was Indrani’s daughter. When Indrani confronted the man about his sexual dalliance with Sheena, he is said to have confessed to it, but with the rider that “he thought it was okay” because of the many “wild parties” that Indrani, he and several other socialites engaged in, both in India and abroad, the friends said.

Morality ‘Switch-Off’

Claiming that “the man seems to have had a morality switch off” when it came to Sheena, who was in a relationship with the elder of Peter Mukerjea’s two sons, Rahul, the family’s associates disclosed to common friends that it was at this time that Indrani revealed to her third husband (Peter) that Sheena was her daughter and not her sister.

In the meantime, Sheena is said to have shared with Indrani the information that she was pregnant, carrying the baby of the man “close” to her mother. Sheena also told Indrani pointblank that “not only would she keep the baby but also the money” which was a huge, unaccounted for sum that had been parked in a foreign bank account in Sheena’s name.

Peter and Indrani Mukerjea used to own INX Media. (Photo: <a href="https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=785489024809774&amp;set=a.584257824932896.1073741826.100000460525639&amp;type=1&amp;theater">Facebook.com/IndraniMukerjea</a>)
Peter and Indrani Mukerjea used to own INX Media. (Photo: Facebook.com/IndraniMukerjea)

The Money Angle

This money appears to be part of the investment that a Singapore-based company, Temasek Holdings, had made in INX Media, run and operated by Peter and Indrani Mukerjea. After the exit of the Mukerjeas from INX, Temasek Holdings alleged that a large part of the money it invested had been siphoned off. This is a serious allegation that could potentially land the Mukerjeas in trouble. The INX Media-Temasek deal was brokered by a high-profile lady PR lobbyist who herself landed in a soup a few years later.

In fact, industry circles are agog with stories that a top Indian business house, with interests in telecom and television sectors, which had invested at least Rs 600 crore with INX Media, could do little to recover the money it lost. Did Indrani seek to “protect” that money at any cost? Even at the cost of Sheena’s life when she refused to part with it?

Second Husband’s Role

What is not clear, however, is the role played by Indrani’s second husband, Sanjeev Khanna, the Kolkata-based businessman, who is alleged to be a co-conspirator in Sheena’s murder. A small-time businessman with interests in a heritage hotel located in South 24 Parganas, Khanna is believed to have told a friend, also Kolkata-based, that he did not act in concert with Indrani to murder Sheena.

But Indrani is said to have disclosed to police that Khanna and her driver Shyam Rai killed Sheena while she was not involved. But this so-called revelation should be taken with a pinch of salt. Indrani seems to have had a strong motive. Although the divorce between Indrani and Khanna was allegedly bitter – primarily over the custody of their daughter Vidhie who was subsequently legally adopted by Peter – they may have later buried their differences, with Indrani helping Khanna financially in his business.

Indrani’s Parents Shielded

An intriguing question arising out of this whole story is why, for some years now, has Mikhail not allowed his grandparents to socialise in Guwahati or meet media persons after the police’s revelation that Sheena was murdered?

The house in Sundarpur locality on Zoo Road in Guwahati where Indrani Mukerjea’s parents live (Photo: Anjana Dutta)
The house in Sundarpur locality on Zoo Road in Guwahati where Indrani Mukerjea’s parents live (Photo: Anjana Dutta)

Friends of Mikhail, who was likely born to Indrani and her first husband Siddhartha Das, the tea garden owner who subsequently quit the marriage and left for Durgapur in West Bengal, hint that Indrani was not the biological child of Durgarani and Upendra Kumar Bora. The Boras adopted her quite late in their marriage, a neighbour of Mikhail said. They live in Sundarpur area on Zoo Road in Guwahati.

What has stunned Sheena and Mikhail’s friends is that Indrani gave birth to Sheena as an unwed mother and the father could possibly have been a close relative. Facts that Indrani’s adoptive parents may be aware of.

Sheena’s brother Mikhail speaking to the media in Guwahati. &nbsp;
Sheena’s brother Mikhail speaking to the media in Guwahati.  

The progress of the case hinges on what Rahul reveals to his interrogators in Mumbai. Rahul, who was in a relationship with Sheena, would know a great deal of the murky familial and financial situation that the Mukerjeas and Sheena found themselves in before she was murdered on April 24, 2012.

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