Indrani Mukerjea Drug Overdose: Attempted Suicide or Foul Play?

Foul play involved in Indrani Mukerjea’s drug overdose? The Quint’s Chandan Nandy reports from Mumbai.

Updated
India
3 min read
Indrani Mukerjea. (Photo:<a href="https://www.facebook.com/indrani.mukerjea?fref=ts"> Facebook.com</a>)

Indrani Mukerjea, who has been in custody for being the prime accused in the Sheena Bora murder case, was admitted on Friday to Mumbai’s JJ Hospital. She is said to have consumed some anti-epileptic tablets in Byculla jail, prompting hospital authorities to send the drugs for testing. The situation has alarmed the Maharashtra government so much that they have asked for an inquiry into the matter.

The sensational Sheena Bora murder case was transferred to the CBI last month. Indrani’s move to consume the yet-to-be identified tablets has raised questions on whether it was an attempted suicide, or whether “external influences” were involved.

Was Rigorous Interrogation Unsettling for Indrani?

From all available indications, The Quint has learnt that Indrani withstood the intensive interrogation sessions she was subjected to by Mumbai Police officers, including the then city police commissioner Rakesh Maria. For her to overdose on tablets, whether prescribed for her epilepsy or depression, has therefore raised questions on her security within the jail premises.

JJ Hospital sources said Indrani’s condition was “serious”. The hospital’s dean Dr TP Lahane said that Indrani was brought to the hospital around 2 pm unconscious. “We think that Indrani Mukerjea has consumed some tablets and we are treating her on that basis,”Dr Lahane said, adding that the tablets had been sent for forensics tests to ascertain their composition. “It could be a case of overdose,” Dr Lahane said.

Tablets Smuggled into Jail?

 Indrani Mukerjea. (Photo:<a href="https://www.facebook.com/indrani.mukerjea?fref=ts"> Facebook.com</a>)
Indrani Mukerjea. (Photo: Facebook.com)

What is strange is that Indrani has been unconscious since 2 pm. Usually, those who consume a hazardous amount of sleeping pills and become unconscious are revived within a few hours once the residual elements of the tablets are flushed out from the stomach.

Speaking to The Quint, Dr Lahane said that at 9:55 pm, Indrani’s “brain” was normal, which in other words means that the MRI scan done after she was admitted to JJ Hospital threw up results that showed that her condition was “stable.” Dr Lahane added that Indrani was “unconscious but stable”.

At 11 pm Dr Lahane told The Quint, “Indrani’s BP was 120/70”, and that “she overdosed on anti-depressants.” The Quint has learnt that Indrani, who was dependent on drugs that controlled epileptic attacks and depression may have accumulated some of the tablets since she was sent into judicial custody. This gives rise to a separate question - if Indrani was epileptic, why was that fact not cited in her bail plea?

Meanwhile, hospital authorities are not ruling out the possibility that the tablets could have been smuggled into Byculla Jail, or mixed with her food. Her plea before a Mumbai court that home cooked food be allowed for her was earlier turned down.

A Suspected Rub Out?

While Indrani’s prolonged unconsciousness, till the time the report was filed, certainly is strange, it raises serious questions on whether external harm to her was being contemplated by certain interested quarters.

Enquiries by The Quint over the past 48 hours have revealed that Peter Mukerjea, Indrani’s husband, and his son Rahul, who was supposedly in a relationship with Sheena Bora before she was allegedly murdered on 24 April 2012, were “not at their Marlow residence” in Mumbai’s upmarket Pochkhanwala Road in Worli on 1 and 2 October.

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