Mumbai Local

Hema murder: police contact artists to locate main accused

To trace the main accused in Hema Upadhyay-Harish Bhambhani murder case, the Mumbai police are contacting artists for whom Vidyadhar Rajbhar had worked with.

They are trying to find if he contacted them in the first few days after the murders.

Hema and her lawyer Bhambhani were allegedly killed by Vidyadhar and four of his employees on December 11.

Vidyadhar absconding



The police arrested Hema’s estranged husband Chintan Upadhyay for allegedly plotting the murders. While Vidyadhar’s employees and Chintan are currently in police custody, Vidyadhar is absconding.

Police sources said Vidyadhar did not have much money when he fled the city, and is bound to reach out to someone or the other for help. As his involvement is now widely known, the police suspect he might have already taken financial assistance in the first few days after the murders, which is now helping him sustain himself.

“We are getting in touch with several artists based all over Maharashtra as well as people working in the same field as Vidyadhar. We are also talking to some artists outside Maharashtra. This would give us a clearer idea of his movements immediately after he fled the city, and could help identify the places where he might have gone from there,” said a police officer.

Before the murders, Vidyadhar enjoyed the goodwill of numerous people in the art fraternity as his father Vanshraj was well known in the field of assisting artists in their work. A lot of artists who had engaged Vanshraj’s services started employing Vidyadhar purely out of sympathy and even loaned him money to help him survive.

Hema was one of the people who pooled in some money for Vidyadhar, while Chintan himself gave him Rs six lakh, said officers. Building on his father’s goodwill, Vidyadhar also developed good relations with others working in the field.

“It is also possible that Vidyadhar might manage to convince at least one or two people that he is innocent and try to borrow money or otherwise take some help from them. Hence, we are reaching out to all the people that he is likely to contact, based on the interrogation of the arrested accused and inquiries with Vidyadhar’s family and friends. We are requesting them to let us know immediately in case Vidyadhar contacts them or if they hear about him,” the officer said.

According to tip-offs received by the police earlier this week, he was believed to be in Bangalore.

However, this information is still being verified. Meanwhile, the team that had gone to Bhusaval chasing a lead about his possible presence there returned to Mumbai on Friday.



Hema & her lawyer were allegedly killed by Vidyadhar and 4 of his employees

on December 11




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Printable version | Jun 18, 2021 11:39:27 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/news/hema-murder-police-contact-artists-to-locate-main-accused/article8031023.ece

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