The Kandivali police on Tuesday arrested artist Chintan Upadhyay in the double murder of his estranged wife, noted artist Hema Upadhyay and her lawyer Haresh Bhambani, the additional commissioner of police North Region said.
Officials said the arrest was made on the basis of new evidence which verified Chintan’s role in the double murder on December 11.
Police questioned the artist late into Monday night on various aspects of his marriage to Hema.
The two had filed for divorce in 2010, and Hema was being represented by Bhambhani.
The family court had granted a decree of divorce to Chintan on October 29, 2014, and ordered him to pay Hema a permanent alimony of Rs16.51 lakh. Hema had challenged the decree in the high court and the case was being battled out.
Chintan was initially questioned by the Mumbai crime branch immediately after the murder and was held for several days before being let go. However, the questioning was resumed to check for a connection between Chintan and Vidhyadhar Rajbhar, the main accused who is still at large.
Hema’s family had also accused Chintan of involvement in the case.
Police had last week arrested four people involved in carrying out the murder who were employed by Rajbhar at his fabrication workshop.
The bodies of Hema and Bhambhani were discovered on December 12 packed in a box and left in a drain opposite a crematorium. Found in a semi-nude state, Hema was found with her hands tied behind her back, while Bhambani’s face was mangled.
Investigations indicate that Rajbhar had called Hema saying he had information that could help Hema in her divorce case against Chintan, luring Hema along with her lawyer into a trap. Police suspect that Rajbhar was motivated by a monetary dispute with Hema from one of her installation projects he worked on.