Hema Upadhyay murder case: Hema’s brother blames Chintan for murder

Deepak Prasad says Bombay High Court order asking Chintan to pay maintenance of Juhu house might be a factor

Artist Hema Upadhyay’s brother Deepak Prasad on Thursday alleged that Chintan Upadhyay was behind the murder of his sister and her lawyer Harish Bhambhani.

He told The Hindu that Vidyadhar Rajbhar had planned the murder well in advance, and rubbished reports that the murder was committed over a pending payment of Rs 5 lakh.

Mr Prasad and Hema, although cousins, were very close and had grown up together. Mr Prasad said Hema’s mother raised him like her own son.

Bodies of Hema and Harish were found in a drain in Kandivali on Saturday evening.

The Kandivali police have arrested Shivkumar, Vijaykumar, Azad and Pradeep Rajbhar for the murder. Vidyadhar, who is their employer, is currently absconding, and the police have been questioning Mr Upadhyay since Sunday.

“I have no doubt that Chintan is behind my sister’s murder. Harish, who was like a father to us, was also killed because of him.”“The murder was a planned one, and Vidyadhar had been calling Hema for nearly a week, asking her to meet him alone. She made it clear to him that she had no intention of meeting him alone, and asked Harish to accompany her,” Mr Prasad said.

Mr Prasad expressed suspicion that a recent order by the Bombay High Court asking Mr Upadhyay to contribute towards the maintenance of the house in Juhu, which they used to live in before their divorce, might be a factor.

“For the last five years, Chintan had not paid a single penny for the house’s maintenance. Ultimately, the High Court passed an order asking him to pay. Also, Chintan was getting jealous of Hema’s increasing popularity in the art circuit,” he said.

He said he found it ridiculous to believe that Hema was murdered over pending dues of Rs 5 lakh.“Hema was not even working with Vidyadhar for the last few years. I had told her to cut contact with all the people that Chintan was associated with. Besides, only the rings that Hema was wearing on the night that she was killed were worth Rs 15 lakh. If Vidyadhar wanted money, he could have simply taken one of her rings. This can not be the motive,” he said.

Recalling his last meeting with Hema on November 10, Mr Prasad said Hema was very happy about the HC order.

“She even told me that as soon as Chintan pays the money, she would be able to come and visit me in Bangkok and meet my three-year-old daughter,” Mr Prasad recounted.

Mr Upadhyay and his associates remained unavailable for comment until the time of going to press.

Tempo recovered

Meanwhile, the Kandivali police on Thursday recovered the tempo that was allegedly used by the arrested accused to take the bodies to the drain.

“Vijaykumar, who drove the tempo, revealed its location during interrogation and we recovered it from the Charkop Industrial Estate,” said a police officer.

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Printable version | Aug 4, 2020 4:47:43 PM |

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