India media tycoon charged with murder

Peter MukerjeaImage copyright

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Peter Mukerjea was arrested on Thursday night, following three days of questioning

An Indian media tycoon has been formally charged with the murder of his stepdaughter, police said.

Peter Mukerjea, the former CEO of Rupert Murdoch’s Star India network, was arrested in November.

He told Indian media that he stood by his earlier statement that he had nothing to do with her death.

The murder of Sheena Bora, first thought to be Mr Mukerjea’s sister-in-law but later found to be his stepdaughter, has gripped India.

Police had earlier named Indrani Mukerjea, Ms Bora’s mother, as the main suspect in the case.

They have also arrested her first husband as a co-conspirator in the murder, as well as her former driver who is listed as an accomplice.

The AFP news agency quoted an unnamed police officer as saying that Mr Mukerjea had been charged with the “same offences” as the others.

They have accused him of plotting along with his wife to kill Ms Borah in 2009.

Mr Mukerjea told the Indian Express newspaper that he would study the charges against him in jail, but stood by his assertion that he had “nothing to do with the case and was not aware of the conspiracy”.

The story, involving hidden identities, allegations and counter-allegations and arrests has gripped Indian media for months now.

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BBC Monitoring

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Indian media outlets have given wall-to-wall coverage to the story

The early coverage of the issue had attracted criticism, with politician Shashi Tharoor calling it “breathless and hysterical”.

Speculation grew after Mumbai’s police commissioner Rakesh Maria, who was personally investigating the case, was removed from his position.

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