Noted artist Chintan Upadhyay has come under the scanner of the Kandivli police investigating the double murder of his estranged wife and artist Hema Upadhyay and her lawyer Haresh Bhambani on December 11. The Kandivli police were questioning him late on Monday night about his equations with Hema and with the main accused Vidhyadhar Rajbhar, who is absconding.
The Mumbai crime branch had questioned Chintan for several days after the murder came to light and then let him go. On Monday, the Kandivli police called him to the station, though sources emphasised that there was no direct evidence against him even while not giving him a clean chit.
Hema’s family members have accused Chintan of involvement in the case.
Asked if he had been booked or placed under arrest, Fattehsingh Patil, additional commissioner of police (north region), said, “We have called him for interrogation. We have not decided on the further course of action.”
Hema and Chintan had filed for divorce in 2010, and Bhambani was her lawyer. The family court 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 process was on. On December 11, Vidyadhar had called up Hema asking for a meeting and reportedly saying he had evidence they could use against Chintan. Bhambani had accompanied Hema and police suspect that is when they were both killed by Vidhyadhar and his employees, four of whom have been arrested. The motive was suspected to be a dispute over money as Vidhyadhar used to work for Hema on her installation projects. The bodies were found stuffed in a drain in Kandivli the next day.