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Twin murder case: Husband of slain artist arrested

File photo of artist Hema Upadhyay

Mumbai : Chintan Upadhyay, estranged husband of slain artist Hema Upadhyay, was today arrested in connection with the twin murder case in suburban Kandivali here.

Chintan, also an artist, was a “suspect” in the murder case of his wife and her lawyer Harish Bhambani and he was detained last night after fresh evidence in the case surfaced, the police said.

Subsequently, Chintan was arrested today after the police found inconsistency in his statements, Additional CP (North) Fatesingh Patil said.

He will be produced in a local court later in the day. According to the police, Chintan was under scanner after bodies of noted installation artist Hema (43) and Harish (65) wrapped in plastic and packed in separate cardboard boxes were found dumped in a drain in suburban Kandivali on December 12.

Based on the statements of Hema’s relatives, Chintan was constantly grilled for days by several police officers in connection with the twin murders.

Besides Chintan, the police have arrested four persons in the case — Azad Rajbhar, Pradeep Rajbhar, Vijay Rajbhar and Shivkumar Rajbhar alias Sadhu and have booked them for murder and causing disappearance of evidence.

The custody of all the four accused ends today. Except Sadhu, who was nabbed from Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh, the remaining three — who are in the business of manufacturing and selling fibre glass used by Hema and Chintan for their installations — were picked up from Kandivali.

Based on leads provided by the accused during their sustained questioning, teams of Mumbai Police are still searching locations in and outside Maharashtra to nab Vidyadhar, who used to make the material required by Hema for her work.

Earlier, the police had said that the arrest of Vidyadhar, a resident of Shamsi Housing Society in suburban Kandivali, would shed light if the murder was a fallout of a financial dispute between him and Hema, or whether it was a contract killing allegedly involving some other motive.

Hema, a Baroda-born installation artist, was locked in bitter divorce proceedings with Chintan. She had in 2013 filed a case against him alleging that he painted obscene pictures of women on the walls of their matrimonial home in Mumbai to harass her. Harish had represented Hema in this case.

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