Sheena Bora murder case: Driver Shyam Rai wants to turn approver
In a major twist in the Sheena Bora murder case, driver Shyamwar Rai, one of the four prime accused, here on Wednesday expressed a desire to turn approver and sought the court’s pardon after making certain disclosures about the sensational crime.
Rai — the former trusted driver of another prime accused Indrani Mukerjea — had recently written a two-pager letter to the Special CBI Court from jail, expressing his willingness to become approver and seek pardon from the court in the case, an official said.
“He has written that he wants to shed light on certain important aspects of the case and is prepared to turn approver, and also sought the court’s pardon,” a legal official, declining to be named, told IANS.
He was summoned to the witness box on Wednesday by Special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Judge H.S. Mahajan and questioned about the case, wherein he admitted that Sheena Bora was strangled to death.
“I am aware of the acts connected with the offence and was a participant in the (Sheena Bora) murder,” Rai told the Special Court.
He added that he was not under any threat, pressure or coercion to reveal the facts pertaining to the case and was “repentant” about his actions.
Thereafter, Special Judge Mahajan directed the CBI to file its reply on Rai’s application to turn approver by May 17.
Rai, who was arrested by Mumbai police, along with Indrani and her ex-husband Sanjeev Khanna in August last year, has been in continuous custody since the past over eight months.
If Rai’s plea is accepted by the courts, it could significantly help the prosecution case against the remaining prime accused, including former media baron Peter Mukerjea, who was arrested in November last year by the CBI.
Rai has already confessed that he had witnessed the crime, and was present when Sheena Bora, Indrani’s daughter from a previous relationship, was strangled and during subsequent developments culminating in the dumping of her half-burnt body in the dense forests of Raigad district, around 90 km south of Mumbai, in April 2012.
Sheena, 24, was reported to have disappeared mysteriously, but it later came to light that she was killed on April 24, 2012.
Her body was found on May 23 that year by the local police, but the crime remained unnoticed till August 2015 when the sensational murder case unfolded and forensic tests confirmed that the remains belonged to her.
Among other things, certain financial deals are believed to be the motive behind Sheena Bora’s killing, which the CBI is investigating.
The trio of Khanna, Rai and Peter Mukerjea is lodged in Arthur Road Central Jail, while Indrani Mukerjea is lodged in the Byculla Women’s Jail.