The Sheena Bora murder case has gripped the nation. News channels have been reporting on the case non-stop since the moment information leaked of media honcho Indrani Mukherjea’s arrest. But sadly this case is not unique in the brutality shown or the manner in which the accused disposed of the evidence.
Here’s a list of 10 murder cases that shook India in the last decade.
In August 2015 Mumbai Police arrested Indrani Mukerjea, founder of INX Media Network, her ex-husband Sanjeev Khanna and her driver Shyamvar Pinturam Rai for allegedly abducting Sheena Bora, in April 2012. During the course of interrogation, the driver confessed to killing Bora and burning her dead-body.
After the trio’s arrest it was revealed that Sheena Bora was actually Indrani’s daughter and not sister as earlier claimed. The multiple angles in the case are as yet unraveling.
A Kashmiri girl, Sunanda Pushkar was known as a vivacious entrepreneur who dealt in properties in India and the Middle East. After two failed marriages, Sunanda married then Union minister Shashi Tharoor in August 2010. The Tharoors were celebrated as Delhi’s dream couple.
The fairytale soon ended with Sunanda being found dead in a hotel suite under highly mysterious circumstances on January 17, 2014. Her autopsy report said that Sunanda died of an overdose of sleeping pills, but in October 2014 the medical team probing the case said that they were pressured into providing a ‘tailor-made’ report.
Police claim Sunanda, 51, was poisoned, and registered a murder case in January this year, without naming any suspect. No arrests have been made in the case yet.
Fourteen days after Maria Susairaj, a struggling Kannada actress, lodged a complaint with the Malad police that her friend had gone missing after leaving her house on May 7, 2008, it was found that she was involved in his killing.
Maria’s fiance Emile Jerome, a naval officer, killed Neeraj, in a fit of rage after he came to know on May 6, 2008, that Grover had stayed at Susairaj’s flat. Suspecting that the two were having an affair, he flew down to Mumbai from Cochin and found Grover with his fiancee.
An angry Jerome murdered Neeraj, then went to a nearby mall, purchased a chopper, cut the body up, stuffed the body parts into three bags and set it on fire in a nearby forest.
Jerome was convicted of culpable homicide not amounting murder and Susairaj was let off saying she was only guilty of destroying evidence.
On May 16, 2008, Aarushi Talwar, who would have turned 14 in eight days, was found dead in her bed, her head smashed and throat slit. After the UP Police were unable to solve the case, the CBI was brought in. After a year-long investigation, the CBI submitted that there were four people in the flat, two wound up dead and Aarushi’s parents were then made chief suspects.
This case captivated the entire nation for months as the dentist-couple were convicted on the basis of circumstantial evidence and sentenced to life in prison.
The Nithari Killings
In December 2007, India woke up to the horror of Noida’s Nithari village, where body parts of dead children and young adults were traced to the house of Moninder Singh Pandher.
It was revealed that his servant, Surendra Koli, had been raping and killing the women, often minors, even eating their body parts. Pandher was in 2009 acquitted of charges in one case. He is still a co-accused in other cases, but his death sentence has been overturned.
Of 15 cases, Koli has been convicted in five. In January this year, the Allahabad high court commuted his death sentence to life imprisonment.
One of BJP’s top politicians – Pramod Mahajan was killed in broad daylight in his house. The story left India shell shocked. Pramod was shot dead by his younger brother Pravin on the morning of May 3, 2006 at his Worli residence.
Pravin killed his brother, then walked calmly to a nearby police station and said, “I am Pravin… I shot Pramod.” It was during the court hearings that the troubled relationship came to the fore. Pramod raised me “like a pet dog,” he said.
Pravin was sentenced to life; he died in March 2010 of a suspected brain hemorrhage.
Rizwanur, a computer graphic artist was found dead near the railway tracks in Dumdum area of Kolkata on September 21, 2007, just a month after his marriage to Industrialist Ashok Todi’s daughter Priyanka on August 18, 2007.
Ashok Todi, owner of the Rs. 200-crore Lux Cozi hosiery brand, his brother Pradip and brother in-law Anil Sarogi are accused in the case along with some senior IPS officers then serving in the Kolkata Police.
The Calcutta High Court had asked the CBI to probe the matter after registering a case of murder in connection with the incident.
The Supreme Court in March 2011 accepted the CBI findings in the Rizwanur Rahman case – that it was not murder, but a case of suicide. Ashok Todi and Co. were then charged with abetment to suicide. However, all proceedings in the case have been halted till the Calcutta High Court decides Ashok Todi’s petition challenging CBI’s chargesheet against him.
The Tikku-Kakkad murder case
The sensational murders of two Delhi residents at the hands of a former murder-accused and his female accomplice dominated headlines in 2012. Former gangster Vijay Palande used his model wife Simran Sood as a ‘honeytrap’ to usurp properties of unsuspecting individuals.
In April 2012, Palande along with his aides Dhananjay Shinde and Manoj Gajkosh, murdered Delhi-based businessman Arun Kumar Tikku, 67. Palande had befriended the victim’s son who was also an actor – Anuj Tikku inorder to acquire his plush apartment Mumbai’s upscale Lokhandwala Complex.
The trio were arrested in connection with the abduction and murder of Arun Tikku and later confessed to also killing Delhi-based aspiring producer Karankumar Kakkad, 28.
Palande was earlier convicted of a double murder in 1998, and again in 2002. In 2003, he jumped parole went to Bangkok for a cosmetic surgery to change his features, and returned to Mumbai in 2005.
24-year old business executive – Nitish Katara was in a relationship with his classmate, Bharti Yadav, daughter of the notorious criminal-turned politician D.P. Yadav, for over five years.
The relationship was not acceptable to the girl’s family and Nitish received death threats several times.
In the early hours of 17 February 2002, Bharti’s brother Vishal and cousin Vikas killed Nitish. The two took Nitish in their SUV and set his body on fire after beating him to death.
The trial court held that Nitish’s murder was an honour killing and the Yadav brothers – Vishal and Vikas were given a life sentence.
The ‘Tandoor’ case
Popularly known as the ‘Tandoor Case’, this case deals with the gruesome murder of Naina Sahni, wife of a former youth congress leader, Sushil Sharma.
Enraged with Naina’s illicit relationship with her friend Matloob Karim, Sharma shot Naina and chopped her body into pieces. Later he stuffed the chopped pieces in the clay oven of Bagiya restaurant, New Delhi. Sushil absconded but eventually surrendered himself to the police and on 7 November 2003, Sushil Sharma was sentenced to death.