Indrani Mukerjea, a prominent Indian TV executive and wife of Peter Mukerjea, the former CEO of Star India, was arrested Wednesday in Mumbai and accused of murdering Sheena Bora, a woman thought to have been her sister.
She is accused of ordering her driver to kill Bora and of disposing of the body three years ago. Mukerjea and the driver were charged with kidnapping, murder and destroying the evidence.
Later in the day, in a fact-stranger-than-fiction turn of events, it was revealed that Bora was not Indrani Mukerjea’s sister, but rather her daughter from an earlier marriage.
Indian media today reported that, prior to her death in 2012, Bora was dating Rahul, one of Peter Mukerjea’s sons from his previous marriage, but that Peter Mukerjea did not know that she was his wife’s child.
Peter and Indrani Mukerjea married in 2002 when he was head of the News Corp.-backed company and she worked in its human resources department.
While Bora’s relationship may have been a cause for anxiety, media reports suggest the motive was more likely financial.
After leaving Star in 2007, Indrani established INX and Peter managed its two specialty TV channels, 9X and Bollywood music channel 9XM. The Mukerjeas exited the company in 2009 with the news channel bought by Zee and the renamed rump acquired by Singaporean sovereign wealth fund Temasek.
Indian media, supposedly quoting police sources, say that a Temasek audit of the company found that large sums of money had been extracted by the former owners and disbursed into the accounts of close relatives. A dispute over control of the money placed in Sheena Bora’s accounts may have led to arguments with Indrani Mukerjea and Bora’s death, Indian papers allege.