The government will take a final call on letting Maria head the investigation on the basis of the DGP's report. “It is under process,” said Additional Chief Secretary (Home) K.P. Bakshi.
Mumbai Police Commissioner Ahmad Javed is known for his impeccably stitched khadi uniform. He was his usual elegant self when he met journalists for a chat on September 15, though strict instructions had been issued that cameras were not allowed. After the pleasantries, as expected, the conversation veered towards the Sheena Bora murder case. But the commissioner promptly brushed it aside, saying he did not wish to discuss any particular case.
It was a departure from Javed's predecessor Rakesh Maria's approach towards the case. And, it left the journalists wondering if the police had put the investigation, which had made significant progress under Maria's watch, on the back burner. “The case has not made much progress since Maria was transferred,” said a police officer. Though there were rumours that Maria would continue to oversee the case, there has been no official confirmation. “We have heard that Maria has not received the government order asking him to supervise the investigations,” said the officer.
The office of the Maharashtra director general of police has asked the police commissioner's office for a detailed “status report” on the case. The DGP is expected to review the report and route it to the home department with his comments. The government will take a final call on letting Maria head the investigation on the basis of this report. “It is under process,” said Additional Chief Secretary (Home) K.P. Bakshi. “Reports by the Mumbai police commissioner and the DGP are awaited by the state home department.”
The team that carried out the probe under Maria has not been dismantled. The officers are with the Khar police station. “Technically they remain where they were,” said an officer. “But, there are no fresh instructions on how to proceed further in the probe.” In fact, they have not heard a word from superiors ever since Maria was transferred on September 7. “The case seems to have suddenly fallen flat,” said the officer.
Meanwhile, the Enforcement Directorate is said to be keen to take a closer look at the financial details provided to them by the Mumbai Police. No money trails have so far been unearthed.
The police said Indrani Mukerjea, a media entrepreneur who has been arrested for the alleged murder of her daughter Sheena Bora, was a British citizen. On September 10, officials from the British Deputy High Commission in Mumbai visited the Byculla jail, where Indrani is kept in judicial custody. However, they were not allowed to meet her as they did not have necessary permission from the home ministry. “The officials wanted to check her health, whether there had been any violation of human rights and whether she needed legal assistance,” said a source.
Though the police are yet to figure out the exact motive behind the alleged murder, it is said that Indrani was fed up with Sheena blackmailing her. Apparently, Indrani was furious after Sheena threatened her to make their relationship public and reveal some bitter secrets to Peter Mukerjea, Indrani's current husband. A police officer said Indrani offered Sheena a flat in Mumbai to “buy her out.” Sheena kept pestering Indrani over it, which, he said, might have led to the murder. As Sheena's brother, Mikhail, also had mentioned blackmail, it is likely to form a significant part when the police team weaves together the connecting pieces of evidence.