No concrete evidence found against Chintan

May even get bail in the coming days in the Hema Upadhyay murder case

Mumbai : The Mumbai Crime Branch and Kandivali police appear to be working at loggerheads, with the former claiming that there is no evidence against well-known artist Chintan Upadhyaya, who has been arrested in connection with the murder of his wife, Hema Upadhyaya.

Hema, who was also an acclaimed artist, was found dead in a drain along with her lawyer Harish Bhambani at Kandivali (W), and a medical examination revealed that they had both been murdered. The Kandivali police arrested four persons,  Pradip Rajbhar, Vijay Rajbhar, Shivkumar Rajbhjar and Azaad Rajbhar, who are presently in judicial custody. However, the main accused Vidhyadhar Rajbhar is still absconding and the police are looking for him.

On December 28, the Kandivali police also arrested Hema’s husband Chintan Upadhyaya, for his role in the murder of his wife. However, it is almost one and a half months since his arrest, but the Kandivali police are yet to get any concrete evidence against him.

According to an officer from the Kandivali Crime Branch, who is also investigating the case, they had interrogated Chintan for almost four days at a stretch after the murders took place. “But even after sustained interrogation, we were not able to get anything that indicated Chintan’s role in the crime,” he explained.

The only issue that came up was the fact that Chintan had given Rs 3 lakh to Vidhyadhar Rajbhar for the treatment of the latter’s father. “But then, Chintan was known to Rajbhar’s father for several years and it was quite normal for him to lend him that money,” the officer said. The fact that Chintan had a meeting with Vidhyadhar and others in Chembur a few days before the murder also does not carry any meaning, since they were in regular touch for their work.

As a result, the Crime Branch has come to the conclusion that there is no evidence showing any role that Chintan had to play with the murder. “In fact, the way things are looking he might even get bail in the coming few days,” the officer said. Chintan is currently lodged in Thane Jail and is in judicial custody.

When Vikram Deshmane, the zonal deputy police commissioner, was asked about the case, he refused to give any details. “The matter is still under investigation and we cannot make any comments at this stage,” he said.

Crime Branch sources said they are still on the trail of Vidhyadhar Rajbhar, who is the main accused in this murder case. “We have compiled a list of all the mobile phone numbers that he has been using since the murder and are trying to get his location,” he said. It appears that there is some close friend or relative who is helping him with funds and other help, which is the reason he has been able to evade the police for so long.

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