Peter Mukerjea: Former Star India TV executive charged with murder of stepdaughter Sheena Bora

Ms Bora is believed to have been having an affair with her step-brother – Mr Mukerjea’s son from a previous marriage – at the time of her death

The former head of Rupert Murdoch’s Star India television network has been charged by Indian investigators with the murder of his stepdaughter – the latest development in a sensational case that has transfixed the country and dominated national headlines.

Peter Mukerjea, who was chief executive of the 21st Century Fox-owned group for 10 years, was arrested in November over the death of Sheena Bora, his wife’s daughter from a previous relationship. He is accused along with his wife, fellow TV executive Indrani Mukerjea and two others, of strangling Ms Bora in April 2012 before dumping her body in woodland near Bombay and setting fire to it. 

“I have nothing to do with the case and was not aware of the conspiracy,” Mr Mukerjea told the Indian Express, responding to the charges from the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which also include criminal conspiracy and destroying evidence. 

Indians have pored over the many shocking twists and turns in the complex story involving the Mukerjeas, a media power couple who were once a regular fixture of Bombay’s social scene. Ms Bora, who was 22 when she died, was initially thought to be the younger sister of Indrani Mukerjea before it emerged that she was, in fact, her daughter. 

She is believed to have been having an affair with her step-brother – Mr Mukerjea’s son from a previous marriage – at the time of her death. When she disappeared, having apparently left her job, her mother is said to have maintained that she had gone to study in the United States. 

It was not until August 2015 – more than three years later – that police identified remains found in the forest as hers. Ms Mukerjea, her driver and her former husband – not the father of Ms Bora – were all subsequently arrested for plotting the murder. 

Critics have accused India’s numerous news outlets of revelling in the sordid details of the alleged crime and of presuming Ms Mukerjea’s guilt ahead of a trial. Speculation about the motive for the supposed killing has ranged from disapproval of Ms Bora’s relationship with Mr Mukerjea’s son to a financial dispute. 

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