India sensational murder grips local media

Telegraph Image copyright Telegraph

The arrest of a prominent media industrialist in India has unearthed a story involving murder, hidden identity, sensational allegations and countless accusations, all of which have contributed to a tale that has gripped media in the country.

A Mumbai police announcement that it had arrested Indrani Mukerjea, the CEO of a media company and wife of well-known TV executive Peter Mukerjea, in connection with the murder of her sister Sheena Bora, made headlines on Tuesday.

The story took a fresh twist the following day when the commissioner of Mumbai police, Rakesh Maria, told the media that "Indrani has confessed that Sheena was her daughter".

Media reports added that Ms Mukerjea always "introduced Sheena Bora as her sister in the elite circles of Mumbai and Delhi".

The police say they made the arrest after a confession by Ms Mukerjea's driver, who told them he had helped his employer commit the murder.

A fresh arrest on Wednesday - of one of Ms Mukerjea's previous husbands - has now added to the interest.

Ms Mukerjea and her lawyers are yet to make a statement. The case will now be heard by a Mumbai court.

So why did the TV executive hide her daughter's identity for so long?

The police haven't commented on this aspect of the case. But media reports are full of details about her life, career and possible motives for the murder.

The Telegraph newspaper had a particularly detailed report with exhaustive details about Ms Mukerjea's past husbands and partners.

"Sheena and her brother, who works in an airline now, were brought up by their maternal grandparents in Guwahati [in north-eastern India]. The children eventually moved to Mumbai and Sheena did her graduation from St Xavier's College there," it added.

'Great Gatsby of Mumbai'

The story is on the front-page of almost every newspaper on Thursday, with The Times of India describing Ms Mukerjea as the "Great Gatsby of Mumbai". Here are a few more:

Image copyright Telegraph
Image copyright HT

Peter Mukerjea has also given interviews to media outlets, saying he had no idea about the murder and that he was told that Ms Bora had moved to the US.

He has also claimed he did not know that Ms Bora was his wife's daughter, saying he had always believed her to be his sister-in-law.

"I have never met Indrani's parents in 15 years of our marriage. I was 15 years older to her so I believed that they might have a problem with me. Only one person from her family came for our wedding. Indrani did not want me to know about that part of her life so I never tried to dig into it," he told a television channel.

A report on CNN-IBN website said that "Sheena's brother Mikhail also verified the report saying that both he and Sheena were Indrani's children".

"My sister was killed, I have no doubt about that, I had no clue when Sheena was dead, whenever I checked, Indrani always claimed Sheena is abroad and busy with her studies," he said.

He further added that he knew why his sister was murdered.

"I am sorry, I will not tell it to you now. I will wait till she [Indrani Mukerjea] confesses it in front of police. If she does not, then I will do whatever is necessary," he was quoted as saying.

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