Report on Indrani Mukerjea jail episode delayed; focus now on new angle

Jail authorities have ruled out drug overdose and "attempt to murder" angles in the Sheena Bora murder case accused Indrani Mukerjea's sudden collapse in prison last week and are now focusing on a "new angle", a senior Home Department official said on Thursday.

Report on Indrani Mukerjea jail episode delayed; focus now on new angle

Mumbai: Jail authorities have ruled out drug overdose and "attempt to murder" angles in the Sheena Bora murder case accused Indrani Mukerjea's sudden collapse in prison last week and are now focusing on a "new angle", a senior Home Department official said on Thursday.

The official, privy to probe into the last Friday's episode at Byculla Women's Prison, where she fell unconscious, said focus on altogether a different angle has led authorities to defer submission of their report by a few days. The report was to be submitted this week.

He, however, declined to elaborate on the angle authorities are focusing on.

Indrani was rushed to state-run JJ Hospital after she fell unconscious. The 43-year-old was discharged from the hospital on Tuesday last.

"Going by the information gathered till now, it seems highly unlikely that Indrani could attempt suicide. She has denied attempting suicide and anti-anxiety medicines were being given to her in presence of a jail doctor. Also, she had no place to hide medicines in her cell," the official said.

"Attempt to murder" theory has been discarded because the food provided to her is cooked by inmates themselves, he said.

"If somebody wanted to murder her, there would have been a long chain to follow. This could not have been possible without the support of other inmates. The Investigating Officer has taken statements of people who have come in contact with Indrani in the prison. Nobody seems to have been involved in assisting a third party in trying to kill her."

"Once these two theories are discarded, the Investigating Officer is now working on a new angle. The findings of this, coupled with evidence collected till now and the JJ Hospital report will then be scrutinised and a report will be submitted by either Monday or Tuesday," he said.

Newly-appointed IG (Prisons) Bipin Kumar Singh is heading the probe into the episode.

After Indrani's hospitalisation, conflicting reports had emerged on suspected drug overdose in prison. While one report showed she had overdosed on anti-depressant pills, the other found no such thing.

Meanwhile, Principal Secretary Home (Appeal & Security) Satbir Singh said that the British Consulate has given an application to the Centre to allow its officials to meet Indrani in the Jail premises.

"The Centre had granted the required permission. It is now up to British Consulate to write to Jail authority whenever they want to meet Indrani," Singh said.

Indrani and the two other accused - her former husband Sanjeev Khanna and driver Shyam Rai - were arrested in August- end on the charge of murdering her daughter Sheena and disposing the body in a forest in Raigad district, about 84 km from here, in April 2012.

The case, initially with Mumbai Police, is now being handled by CBI.

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