High-profile Mumbai cases dominated headlines

High-profile Mumbai cases dominated headlines

The sensational murder mysteries – the Sheena Bora murder case, the Hema Upadhyay murder case – and the acquittal of Bollywood superstar Salman Khan in a 13-year-old drunken-driving and hit-and-run case and the hanging of Yakub Memon are some of the developments that dominated the crime and legal scene in Mumbai during 2015.

The year also saw the deportation of underworld don Chhota Rajan from Indonesia and he is now in custody of the CBI and lodged in New Delhi.

On July 30, Yakub Memon, the brother of Tiger Memon – a close aide of underworld don and global terrorist Dawood Ibrahim, was hanged to death at the Nagpur jail for financing and planning the March 12, 1993 Mumbai serial blasts. He became the third person to be hanged in a decade including 26/11 convict and LeT fidayeen Mohammed Ajmal Kasab and Mohammed Afzal Guru, an accused in December 13, 2001 attack on Parliament.

The year saw one of the sensational murder mysteries when news broke of the murder of Sheena Bora, the daughter of Indrani Mukerjea nee Bora, the wife of Peter Mukerjea.

Initially, Indrani, her first husband Sanjeev Khanna and driver Shyamwar Rai were arrested for the murder of Sheena and attempt to bump off her brother Mekhail Bora, but later Peter, the media tycoon and former CEO of Star India, who launched contents like Amitabh Bachchan-hosted Kaun Banega Crorepati and Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi, the mother of all soaps, too was arrested. One of the established motives was that quite a substantial money of the Mukerjea couple was parked in her name.

Sheena Bora, who was 24 at the time of her murder on April 24, 2012, was in a live-in relationship with Rahul Mukerjea, the younger son of Peter Mukerjea, her step-brother.

As a matter of fact, Indrani has passed off Sheena and Mekhail as her siblings. Sheena’s body was found in Pen taluka on May 23, 2012, as many as 29 days after her murder. The issue also saw the abrupt transfer and promotion of then Mumbai Police chief Rakesh Maria to the rank of DGP and replaced by Ahmed Javed. The Maharashtra government also chose to hand over the probe to CBI.

As the year drew to a close, Mumbai also saw the sensational double murder of artist Hema Hirani nee Upadhyay and her lawyer Harish Bhambani and for this five people including the victim’s estranged husband Chintan Upadhyay have been arrested. Chintan and Hema, both contemporary artistes were going through a bitter divorce and alimony proceedings.

On October 30, a 29-year-old history sheeter Chandrabhan Sanap was arrested, for the gruesome murder and rape of Andhra Pradesh techie Esther Anuhya, whose partially charred body was found in January 2014. On January 5, 2014, when Esther, 23,  landed at the Lokmanya Tilak Terminus at Kurla, the accused pretended to be taxi driver and agreed to drop her at her Andheri hostel for Rs 300. However, when she came out of the platform, she was told that he has a motorbike and he would drop her Later, on the way, he raped and killed her.

On September 30, five accused in the 7/11 serial train blasts were given death sentence, while seven were jailed for life and one was acquitted. The seven blasts in first-class compartments in the evening of July 11, 2006 – in a span of 11 minutes – left over 200 dead and injured 1,000 others and LeT and SIMI modules were involved in the attack.

As far as the 26/11 attacks case was concerned, Pakistani-American David Coleman Headley, a LeT spy and double agent, agreed to provide evidence and was pardoned by a special court – and his statement would be recorded through video conferencing next year.

On May 6 this year, Additional Sessions Judge D W Deshpande convicted Salman Khan under the grave charge of culpable homicide not amounting to murder and sentenced him to undergo a rigorous imprisonment of five years; however, on December 10, Justice A R Joshi reversed the order and has acquitted him of all charges. The Maharashtra government has decided to appeal in Supreme Court.

The CBI during the year also charge-sheeted Sooraj Pancholi for abatement vis-a-vis the suicide of actor-model Jiah Khan.

On February 26, dreaded mafia don Abu Salem, who was extradited from Portugal in a top secret operation around 10 years ago, was on Wednesday sent to a jail term for life for eliminating a Mumbai-based builder in 1995. Salem, 46, was brought to India on November 11, 2005, along with is companion and small-time Bollywood actor Monica Bedi, and this was one of the nine cases against him.
DH News Service

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