Mumbai double murder: Artist’s husband sent to police custody

Mumbai, Dec 22 (IANS) A magistrate’s court here on Tuesday sent artist Chintan Upadhyay – arrested in connection with the murder of his estranged wife Hema and her lawyer Harish Bhambani – in police custody till January 1.

Chintan was produced before the Borivali magistrate following his night long interrogation and arrest on Tuesday morning. He was summoned by Kandivali Police late on Monday night for questioning.

A reputed artist himself, Chintan was earlier questioned by police several times in connection with the murders, for which four persons have been arrested from Mumbai and Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh.

The victims’ kin, including Hema’s brother Deepak Prasad, had pointed fingers at Chintan, who allegedly threatened to kill Hema a few years ago.

Last week, Satyaprakash alias Sadhu Rajbhar, Pradip Rajbhar, Azad Rajbhar and Vijay Rajbhar were arrested in the case, while one Vidyadhar Rajbhar is absconding.

Police believe the four arrested persons helped Vidyadhar in committing the murders and in disposing off the bodies.

The barely-clothed bodies of Hema and Bhambhani were wrapped in plastic sheets, packed in cardboard boxes and thrown in a large open drain near Dahanukarwadi in Kandivali West, a suburb in north-west Mumbai.

The boxes, found on December 13, were transported in a tempo from Juhu to Kandivali, police said.

The motive behind the murders is still not clear, but police said Hema and her husband, who married in 1998, were involved in a legal battle for divorce for the past five years.

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