‘The Indrani Mukerjea Story’ Recap Summary: Did Indrani Murder Sheena Borah?

The Indrani Mukerjea story took the television news media by storm when it broke in 2015. The media did not take much time to spin the real story into a television soap opera, with many people with no connection to the Mukerjea family making blatantly false statements about the woman who had just been accused of murdering her sister. 

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The television news media, coupled with the burgeoning social media, branded the woman a vamp, followed by horrid name-calling. The Indrani Mukerjea Story: Buried Truth, the brand-new Netflix documentary, takes the viewers through the statements of the family and friends of Indrani Mukerjea to understand the phenomenon she was and what led to her downfall. Indrani Mukerjea herself spoke in the documentary and tried to present the story of her life from another perspective.


What Happened On August 25?

The documentary begins with Vidhie Mukerjea speaking about her relationship with Sheena Borah, whom she considers her aunt. Indrani had introduced Sheena and Mekhail as her siblings to her family in Mumbai, and nobody ever questioned the authenticity of the relationship. Vidhie claims to have had a good relationship with Sheena, but after 2012, the family hardly spoke about her. Three years later, the police raided Indrani Mukerjea’s home, which was followed by her arrest. The Mumbai Police were acting on an anonymous tip, which made them arrest Shyamvar Rai, Indrani’s driver. The driver confessed to his and his employer Indrani’s role in the murder of Sheena Borah and thus began the circus of a trial by the media and the court.

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Indrani claimed throughout her arrest and the ordeal that Sheena was in the United States of America and had not been in touch in a long while. The police had proof, which was Shyamvar Rai’s statement. Sheena Borah’s skeletal remains were found in Raigad, and police used this as a lead to arrest the matriarch. The police also arrested Sanjeev Khanna, Indrani’s second husband, who the police claimed was an accomplice in the murder. It took three years for the police to figure out that Sheena was indeed missing and that someone from the family was responsible for the murder. The trial had only begun, and the police had started to gather statements from people who were close to Indrani and her family. 


Who Were Mekhail And Sidhartha Basu?

Mekhail was Indrani’s son from her first marriage, and the young man had lived in Guwahati and Kolkata all his life. It is revealed that Indrani had had three marriages, and Mekhail was her son from her first marriage, while Vidhie was Sanjeev Khanna’s daughter, but was legally adopted by Peter Mukerjea, Indrani’s third husband. 

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Mekhail claimed he and Sheena had no proper relations with Indrani, who left them in the care of their grandparents as Indrani moved away for better prospects in Kolkata and later Mumbai. His statement to the Mumbai police revealed that Sheena Borah was Indrani’s daughter and Mekhail’s older sister. Siddhartha Basu was Indrani’s first husband, whose identity was hidden for many years until the television news media took it upon themselves to carry out a parallel search and investigation. It is also stated by Vidhie as the documentary progressed that Sheena was in a romantic relationship with Rahul Mukerjea, Peter Mukerjea’s son from his previous marriage. Peter and Indrani were not happy with this relationship for obvious reasons, but the young couple wanted to be together. Rahul and Sheena moved away from the family, only for Sheena to be found dead several years later. 

The motive was clear at this juncture, but the court needed evidence from the prosecution to build up their case against Indrani. Peter Mukerjea was also eventually arrested by the CBI after the case was handed over to the central agency, fearing interference in the investigation from high-ranking police officers of the Mumbai Police who were close to Peter and his family.

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What Was Indrani’s Story?

Indrani Mukerjea decided to break the silence and offer her version of the story. There was no clarity on how she was offered the chance to speak in a documentary while the case was still in court. Indrani spoke in detail about her life in Guwahati, which was marred by the trauma inflicted by her father, who raped her at the age of fifteen. Indrani soon conceived, and Sheena was the first child that was born to her during her teens. Indrani met Siddhartha Basu in college and married him. Mekhail Borah was her second child. Indrani moved to Kolkata because her mother decided to bring her father back into their lives, which she wasn’t comfortable with. Indrani left Sheena and Mekhail in the care of her parents. The divorce from her first marriage was implied. 

Sanjeev Khanna, the influential businessman from Kolkata, was her second husband, but sadly, that marriage did not last. Indrani was described as a social climber, and it is understood she used her contacts through Sanjeev to gain a foothold in Mumbai. Details of how or why she landed in Mumbai were ambiguous. Indrani found a perfect partner in Peter Mukerjea, who was the head of the Star TV Network. 


How Were Indrani And Peter As A Married Couple?

Peter Mukerjea was not just an influential figure in the Indian television industry; he turned out to be a good father figure to Vidhie. Vidhie only had good words to share about her father in the documentary, and she was hoping Peter was not a part of the conspiracy to murder Sheena. Peter and Indrani were only interested in building a media conglomerate, which led to the formation of INX Media, which fostered a few television channels under its banner. Indrani was made the CEO of INX Media, and the woman was on the verge of becoming one of the most powerful media baronesses in the country. 

Apart from the high-flying lifestyle Peter and Indrani led, she was requested by her parents to financially provide for them for the upbringing of Sheena and Mekhail. As per Mekhail, Indrani flew her children to Mumbai only to introduce them as her siblings to Peter and Vidhie. Since her media company was the talk of the town, she chose to keep Sheena and Mekhail in the background, and the children had to move forward with the façade for the sake of financial security. 

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What Were Mekhail Borah And Rahul Mukerjea’s Claims?

Mekhail Borah revealed his stint in the mental hospital, as he claimed his mother, Indrani, moved him to the facility to solve issues related to his narcotics addiction. Mekhail at no point accepted or denied his mother’s allegations behind sending him to the care center, but the admission without his consent left a bad aftertaste and worsened the relationship between the mother and her son. 

Mekhail was also questioned about having lived a lavish life in Guwahati as he drove around in an SUV, while at the same time, he was begging Indrani to provide for his grandparents as their health was deteriorating. Rahul Mukerjea was presented in the documentary, but only through the recordings of the phone calls between him and Peter. Indrani’s conversation with Rahul was also shared in the documentary, and as a paranoid boyfriend, he was frantically searching for Sheena. 

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Indrani and Peter at all times claimed Sheena chose to leave Rahul and left for America for higher studies. This claim was bizarre, as her passport was in his possession. Rahul was gaslighted and manipulated into believing Sheena had left him without any note or goodbye. Rahul’s search for her never ceased, as he requested that Sidhartha Basu file a missing complaint. Rahul and Sheena were engaged, and this made the situation complicated. 


What Were Indrani’s Claims?

Indrani claimed to have provided everything to her parents and her older kids, Sheena and Mekhail, but at no juncture did she accept that she had purposely hidden the actual relationship she shared with her children. Indrani was quick to justify every move she ever made and remained in denial about her role in Sheena Borah’s death. Indrani claimed to have spoken to Sheena Borah in April 2012 on that fateful day but remained oblivious to anything that happened after the meeting. Indrani claimed Sheena got in touch with her after years of zero communication in the hope of meeting her mother. Sheena went missing that day in 2012. Indrani also claimed Sheena was alive and was living in Jammu and Kashmir, but there was no proof to back these claims. 

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Why Did Vidhie And Indrani Reconcile?

Vidhie was the most affected by the entire ordeal, as her parents stand accused in the case. She also revealed how her mother was constantly taunted by Peter’s family for dragging his name through muck while he was touted to be one of the biggest media moguls in the country. Vidhie was heavily influenced by her father’s family. She chose to stay away from her mother. It was years later that Vidhie chose to commence her relationship with her mother and be her biggest pillar of support. Vidhie and Indrani reconciled only because she was not willing to lose her parents emotionally, even if the court’s verdict was not in favor of her mother.


Did Indrani Murder Sheena Borah?

The DNA testing done on the remains of the Sheena found at Raigad matched those of Indrani. The prosecution would stop at nothing to make their case stronger. Ranjeet Sangle, one of the best criminal lawyers in the country, claimed his job was to find loopholes in the evidence presented by the prosecution and make sure Indrani was acquitted for lack of evidence. 

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Indrani and her lawyer’s only defense against the statement made by Rahul and Mekhail was their history of narcotic drug consumption, along with digging up their criminal history. Their criminal history has nothing to do with the crime at hand, and it just does not justify Indrani’s actions. 

The cell tower details also revealed Indrani was present at Raigad on the given date in 2012. The evidence against Indrani was only mounting, and the defense so far only had weak rebuttals to justify her presence in this remote town of Maharashtra. Ranjeet and Indrani claimed the latter had visited the town with plans to purchase land in Raigad. Ranjeet and Indrani were coming out with it confidently and were hoping this could be used to refute the prosecution’s claims. While Peter was still in prison, Indrani was out on bail, which made it easy for her to speak to the Netflix makers about the ordeal she went through. Peter and Indrani have now divorced, and the latter received the bigger chunk of the assets as a part of the separation, as mentioned in the documentary.

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The documentary ends with Indrani trying hard to convince herself and the viewers about her innocence by claiming she had begun a WhatsApp group titled ‘Justice for Sheena.’ The purpose of this WhatsApp group was not understood because it was never the duty of normal people to find evidence that could prove Indrani’s claims of Sheena being alive. It was easy to conclude who might be the culprit here, but as a writer, it is not my prerogative to offer judgments in legal cases such as this one. 

Indrani also spoke about beginning a campaign that would offer her justice for the ordeal she had been put through. As a mother and as an individual, she feels it was time she looked out for herself instead of seeking a young woman who does not want to be found. This sentence implied that Sheena was alive and chose to stay away, and Indrani would go to any extent to prove her words right. Indrani claimed her parents never came looking for her when she left her hometown, and she would do the same in the case of Sheena as well. This generational trauma that Indrani was carrying forward was toxic, and we wonder if this cycle would end with her being proven guilty by the court. She refuted all the statements made by Sanjeev Khanna, her driver, Shyamvar Rai, Mekhail Borah, and Rahul Mukerjea. The last question she was asked was if she had murdered Sheena, and her response to it was, “That’s a stupid question.”

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Smriti Kannan
Smriti Kannan
Smriti Kannan is a cinema enthusiast, and a part time film blogger. An ex public relations executive, films has been a major part of her life since the day she watched The Godfather – Part 1. If you ask her, cinema is reality. Cinema is an escape route. Cinema is time traveling. Cinema is entertainment. Smriti enjoys reading about cinema, she loves to know about cinema and finding out trivia of films and television shows, and from time to time indulges in fan theories.

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