The Kandivli police have conducted a joint interrogation of five arrested suspects — including Chintan Upadhyay — in the murders of Chintan’s wife Hema Upadhyay and her lawyer Haresh Bhambani on December 11. With key suspect Vidhyadhar Rajbhar still on the run, the police interrogated the five men together in the hope of unearthing more leads. They are also making inquiries with a man who is suspected to have supplied the chloroform used in the murders on December 11.
A source close to the investigation told HT, “We conducted a collective interrogation of all five arrested men. All except Chintan blamed Vidhyadhar for dragging them into the case.” The four accused apart from Chintan — Azad Rajbhar, Vijaykumar Rajbhar, Pradeepkumar Rajbhar and Shivkumar Rajbhar — are employees of Vidhyadhar and from the same village in Uttar Pradesh as him. They were remanded in judicial custody for 14 days after their police custody ended on Monday. Chintan will be produced in court on January 1 for extension of his police custody.
The police have also recovered a book from Chintan’s Juhu apartment that contains various sketches and drawings and going through it for evidence. Meanwhile, after going through the financial records of all the accused, the police suspect the payment for the murders was not deposited into their accounts but paid in cash.
According to the police, two of the accused – Azad and Pradeepkumar — restrained Hema and Haresh while Shivkumar and Vidhyadhar smothered them with a chloroform-laden cloth. Their bodies were then wrapped in plastic, stuffed in cardboard boxes and dumped in a sewer with in Kandivli the help of Vijaykumar, a truck driver. The police have sent DNA samples of the five men for testing.
The police claim Chintan met Vidhyadhar and the other suspects several times in the months prior to the double murder — both within and outside Maharashtra. The murders were planned at these meetings, they say.