Alibaug/Mumbai: The sensational Sheena Bora murder mystery today produced a new twist with police admitting that no case of murder or accidental death was registered after her human remains were recovered in Pen taluk of Raigad three years ago, that raises questions.
For the first time, Raigad police virtually confessed to the casual way in which their personnel treated the case when a burnt body was located in their area on May 23, 2012, a month after Sheena was believed to have been murdered.
"Neither a crime, nor a report of accidental death was registered when Raigad police sent recovered skeletal remains to JJ hospital in 2012," Suvez Haque told reporters in Alibag, the Raigad district headquarters.
"I have been ordered to probe all the wrongs or lapses that were committed," said Haque, who took over as Raigad SP earlier this year.
"We have given a factual report to our seniors. Inspector General of Police (Konkan Range) has yesterday ordered an inquiry. We will complete it at the earliest and produce our report," he said.
However, Haque declined to go into aspects as to why the police acted indifferent three years when the human remains were recovered.
"An inquiry is on and this is not the right time or I am not the right person to comment on why a case was not filed," he said replying to a volley of questions.
Haque said On May 23, 2012, an eyewitness observed a human body which was partially burnt. However, after the 'panchnama' the then police officials did not file any crime case or register ADR, he said.
It was noted in the station diary while sending skeletal remains to JJ Hospital, he said.
"IG Konkan Range has asked us to conduct inquiry into why no crime was registered and no AD case filed by Raigad police in 2012," the Raigad SP said.
"We are looking into why a case was not registered. Only yesterday the IG Konkan Range ordered an inquiry. The report will be submitted soon," the IPS officer said.
As the SP's disclosure raised questions whether there was any cover up in the crime then, DGP Sanjeev Dayal told PTI that an inquiry has been ordered to find out the lapses and promised action against erring officials.
Though Sheena, the daughter of high-profile media
professional Indrani Mukerjea, was allegedly murdered in 2012 and her body disposed of in Raigad district, the crime came to light only recently.
The police have arrested Indrani, her former husband Sanjeev Khanna, and driver Shyam Rai in the case.
Dayal said "We are gathering all the necessary information and will act against the officials concerned (of Raigad police) if it is found that they botched up the case (when the body was found)."
The remains found from the forest in Pen tehsil of Raigad have been sent for DNA test.
Meanwhile, the focus in the case shifted to the forensic analysis of the skeletal remains.
Police also continued their interrogation of the victim's Indrani, Khanna and the driver to more details of the crime and the motive.
The bones and other skeletal remains found from the forest have been sent to DNA test, whose result is going to be crucial in further stages of the case
"We have sent the bones and other skeletal remains for forensic analysis and are awaiting report," a police official said.
JJ Hospital had yesterday handed over to Khar police a few bones it had received from Raigad Police in 2012.
Blood and hair samples of Indrani and Mikhail Bora have also been collected and sent to Forensic Science Laboratory, and the report expected in 3 to 4 days.
The investigation had gained further momentum with the arrest of Khanna, who according to Mumbai Police chief Rakesh Maria, had confessed to his complicity in the murder.
On Friday, the police had also briefly questioned Indrani's husband and former Star India CEO Peter Mukerjea at the Khar police station, scene of action for the last four days.
Police refused to accept a written statement from
Peter Mukerjea, and he was told that when the police required, he would be called to answer their queries.
Khanna had earlier claimed that he was sleeping when 24-year-old Sheena was murdered and found her dead in the vehicle.
The police also claimed that Sheena's passport was recovered from Dehradun , negating the theory that she went to the US.
While seeking custody of Khanna, police had contended that Indrani, her driver and Khanna abducted Sheena in a car and took her to a forest in Pen thehsil where they killed her allegedly by strangulation and then poured petrol on her body and burnt it in the forest.
Indrani had claimed that Sheena was her sister till she was arrested questioned earlier this week. During her interrogation, it emerged that Sheena was her daughter, which was also claimed by Sheena's brother Mikhail.
Police had earlier questioned Rahul Mukerjea, Peter Mukerjea's son by another marriage, who allegedly had a relationship with Sheena, which Indrani disapproved of.
The investigators are also looking into financial angle as one of the motives in the murder which took place on April 24, 2012 with the alleged involvement of Khanna in the crime.
A team of police, forensic experts and villagers had yesterday exhumed skeletal remains after Dhene, a police patil, identified the exact spot where Sheena's body was allegedly dumped.
Ganesh Dhene, a village official in Pen tehsil of Raigad district, helped police to locate the body of Sheena, allegedly buried in forest there in 2012.