After failing to extract any significant information or leads by questioning Chintan Upadhyay, a suspect in the murders of his wife Hema and her lawyer Haresh Bhambani on December 11, 2015, the Mumbai police have turned to another tool – jail informants.
Police informants at Thane Central Prison have been told to keep tabs on Chintan, especially his conversations with visitors, for clues. The police claim Chintan was the main conspirator in the double murder, even as they admit they don’t have any concrete evidence against him. Police teams, meanwhile, continue to search for Vidhyadhar Rajbhar, a key suspect who remains at large.
“Chintan was sent to judicial custody on January 1 and shifted to Thane Central prison. The police have alerted all of their informants inside the prison to keep tabs on Chintan’s conversations with visitors and other inmates. They have been told to alert us if they see or hear something relevant to the case,” said a police source.
The source also said the police are hoping that Vidhyadhar will try to contact more people associated with Chintan now that he is in judicial custody. After fleeing the city, Vidhyadhar allegedly telephoned several people in the artists’ fraternity for money, and the police have recorded the statements of these people. The source said Vidhyadhar recently telephoned a Mumbai lawyer for legal advice. His wife and mother have been living with relatives in Goregaon as the police have sealed their home and warehouse.
Hema and Haresh were allegedly smothered with a chloroform-laced cloth at Vidhyadhar’s warehouse on December 11 last year. The killers packed their bodies in cardboard boxes and dumped them in a Kandivli sewer. The bodies were found on December 12.
The police believe that Vidhyadhar murdered the two after Chintan gave him and others a contract to kill them. They also claim that Chintan used a mediator — whose identify they have not established — to arrange meetings with the other suspects in the months leading up to the murders.