Behind Bars-There lies a tale


Sunetra Chaudhry:

It was one such photo that Upendra Bora saw in the Guwahati edition of the Telegraph when he decided to reach out to his daughter. He told her that they were hard up for money and so couldn’t really afford Sheena and Mikhail’s education, and asked if she could help out. According to the investigation, Indrani agreed to meet the kids in Kolkata and paid for their tickets. Indrani had taken along her daughter Vidhie and this meeting took place at the Oberoi. There, as the CBI says, she made her two kids an offer. She would pay for their education and their maintenance, but they must keep up pretences that she was their sister.

They had no choice but to agree and they took some pictures, which the CBI has submitted as evidence. 144 BEHIND BARS ‘Indrani informed Peter Mukerjea about her younger siblings Sheena and Mikhail. She also informed that since their financial condition was pathetic, in order to continue her education, Sheena Bora was coming to Mumbai.’ This sets the stage for the romance that led to murder and arrests.

In 2005, Sheena was admitted to St Xavier’s College, Mumbai, and while she stayed as a paying guest, she’d come over to the Mukerjeas’ Marlow Building apartment in Worli on weekends. In some time, Rahul, Peter’s younger son, moved in with them and the two young people met and hit it off. This was more than what can be said for Rahul and his step-mum Indrani’s relationship. Writing to me from jail, Peter acknowledges his wife and son’s relationship was so stressful, he had to meet Rahul behind her back at times.

‘My relationship with my younger son Rahul is a perfectly normal father–son relationship. Things went astray along the way for certain reasons. Indrani, my wife and Rahul didn’t see eye to eye virtually from their first interaction many years ago, which was then further eroded when Sheena and Rahul got into a relationship and then got engaged. ‘As father and son we continue to share a normal relationship now, once again, after a hiatus of 2–3 years when I had to communicate with Rahul “secretly”.

While I was in Mumbai and he was a student in the UK, we would meet during college term holidays; then when he was in Mumbai, we’d meet all the time – until I left for the UK and then our contact was limited to telephone conversations. I share a free, happy and perfectly normal father–son bond and of course we have our differences but that’s what makes it normal.’ So, it was in 2008, three years after she moved to Mumbai that Sheena told Rahul that Indrani was actually her mother.

The CBI says Rahul told his father immediately. How Peter the ceo in jail 145 took it is unclear but he does say in interviews after Indrani’s arrest, it was his son’s word against his wife’s. What the CBI does put on record is that the Mukerjeas actively worked to separate the couple. Indrani first sent Sheena away to Guwahati, and then to Delhi, where she allegedly spiked her daughter’s medication with some that are for mental illness.

The CBI believes she was able to do this with the careful manipulation of her own employees and acquaintances in Delhi and Bengaluru who she made her daughter stay with, and who she could manipulate. When Sheena was taken to Bengaluru and became ill, Rahul came and took her away to his grandparents’ home in Dehradun. That’s where on Diwali of 2011, the couple got engaged supported by Rahul’s mother and Sheena’s grandparents………….

(Read More in the Book-Behind Bars)

Courtesy-Roli Books