Sheena Murder: Driver Rai’s Inconsistent Story Similar to CBI’s

Call records and driver Rai’s confessional statement in Sheena murder are contradictory, reports Chandan Nandy.

5 min read

Indrani Mukherjea, suspected accused in Sheena Bora murder case after being produced at a Mumbai Court on 20 November, 2015. (Photo: IANS/ Altered by <b>The Quint</b>)

The confessional statement of Shyamwar Rai, an accused in the sensational Sheena Bora murder, which was detected with his arrest in August 2015, besides being the main narrative of the CBI, as also the Mumbai Police earlier, is replete with inconsistencies.

Indeed, for a person who was arrested and then, in his own words, felt “repentant” for his part in the alleged murder on April 24, 2012, the confessional statement recorded in accordance with Section 164 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) suppresses many facts and events that occurred the evening Sheena was murdered in a car in Pali Hill.

Shyam Manohar Rai, suspect in Sheena Bora murder case produced at a CBI court in Mumbai, on October 27, 2015. (Photo: IANS)
Shyam Manohar Rai, suspect in Sheena Bora murder case produced at a CBI court in Mumbai, on October 27, 2015. (Photo: IANS)

CDR Details Do Not Match Rai’s Story

The Quint’s stories based on call data records (CDRs) of Indrani Mukerjea, the prime accused in the case, and Rai clearly show that the sequence of events leading to Sheena’s murder do not match with the driver’s narrative. Rai claims that on 23 August, 2012, Indrani and he drove all the way to Pen in Raigad, allegedly to spot the locations where Sheena and Mikhail’s bodies could be burnt. Quoting Indrani, he says in his confessional statement that tum bhi jagah yaad rakhna. Kal aanaa hai (You also remember the spot. We have to come tomorrow).

If the murder took place in the evening (between 6:30 and 7:30 pm) of August 24, 2012, how would Indrani tell Rai the day before that they would have to be at the Pen spot the next day?

(Infographic: <b>The Quint</b>)
(Infographic: The Quint)

Second, Rai claims that on their way back to Mumbai, Indrani instructed him to stop the vehicle at Plaza theatre where she purchased two “bags” – not two suitcases, one of which was said to have been used to stuff Sheena’s body in.

Also read:
Indrani & Mikhail’s Mystery Texts, Calls on Sheena’s Murder Day

Sanjeev Khanna, suspected accused in Sheena Bora murder case after being produced at a Mumbai Court on November 20, 2015. (Photo: IANS)
Sanjeev Khanna, suspected accused in Sheena Bora murder case after being produced at a Mumbai Court on November 20, 2015. (Photo: IANS)

Unsual Conduct

The next day (24 April, 2012) at 9:20 am, according to Rai, Indrani told him to drive her to Rakhangi Medical Store where she purchased six bottles of dawai (medicine) (presumably sleeping pills), a pair of gloves and picked up a bottle of vodka and another bottle of McDowell whiskey before handing over the “packet” to him and entering a beauty parlour. This would mean that Rai took a look at the contents of the packet, which is unusual for a driver.

In Rai’s words, Indrani next went to a Bata store at Century Market where she asked him what size shoes he wears. He said size 8. She entered the store all by herself. How did Rai know she had purchased three pairs of shoes and one of them was ek ladies pair? He claims that Indrani next went to a saree store and purchased two sarees, although he did not enter the shop.

Inconsistencies in Driver’s Statements

All of these purchases were being made at a time when Indrani’s secretary Kajal Sharma was, according to her statement under Section 164 of the CrPC, supposedly with her employer at the former’s Marlow flat in Worli.

In fact, The Quint had earlier exposed the glaring inconsistencies in Kajal’s statements made under Sections 164 and 161 of the CrPC. In the second, recorded before the first, she claimed that she reached the Mukerjeas’ Marlow apartment a few minutes after noon. However, in her statement under Section 164 of the CrPC, she changed the time to 11:30 am.

According to Rai, he went up to the flat with Indrani who drained out a little of the alcohol and poured the dawai into the vodka and whiskey bottles and some of the so-called medicine into a Bisleri bottle containing water. Rai was at Marlow since he and Indrani returned from Century Market but at no point in time did he see Kajal.

Improbable Murder Timing

At “4 or 4:30 pm”, Indrani left for Bandra with Rai driving. After reaching Bandra, Rai claims, Indrani told him to park the vehicle by the side of National College. “I went ahead and took a U-turn. It was 6:30 or 7 pm then and madam got out of the car and stood by it.” After Sheena arrived in a Maruti Alto, Indrani offered her water from the Bisleri bottle. They “went towards Amarsons” and thodi der mein aaye (returned a little later). Indrani, Rai claims, told him to drive towards Pali Hill.

Even as Rai’s story is a near-replica of the CBI’s narrative in its first chargesheet, there are inconsistencies between the two documents on critical points. The CBI claimed that Sanjeev Khanna, Indrani’s former husband, walked away from the spot immediately after the murder was allegedly committed inside the car.

But Rai says in his confessional statement that phir thodi der mein sub shaant ho gaya. Khanna aage aakar baith gaya. Sheena seat par padi huyi thi. Madam mujhe chalo boli…Phir mujhe rukne ko boli. Phir Khanna utar gaya (Soon everything was quiet. Khanna took the seat in the front. Sheena lay on the seat. Madam said now drive…Then told me to stop. Khanna left the vehicle).”

Rai claims that after leaving Taj Lands End hotel, Khanna met up with Indrani next to a “garden” near Marlow complex. They entered Marlow together, but what is odd in Rai’s statement is that instead of going upstairs to the flat with Indrani, Khanna stayed back near the garage.

What Rai doesn’t say is what he was doing with the gun, seized from him on 21 April, 2012, for three years. What he also does not disclose is that he was picked up by Mumbai Police on 19 April, 2012.

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