Mumbai double murder: Without Vidyadhar, cops have nothing on Chintan Upadhyay
Sources say cops need to nab main accused Vidyadhar Rajbhar to find evidence against Chintan Upadhyay for the alleged murder of his wife Hema and her lawyer Harish Bhambhani
Nearly a week has passed since the Kandivali police took contemporary artist Chintan Upadhyay into custody in connection with the murder of his estranged wife, Hema, and her lawyer, Harish Bhambhani. However, sources said the cops have still not found any concrete evidence against Chintan and have hit a dead end in the investigation due to their failure to nab main accused Vidyadhar Rajbhar, also known as Gotu, the owner of the warehouse where the victims were killed.
The Kandivli police has custody of Chintan Upadhyay till January 1 and are trying to gather enough evidence against him before this period ends. File pic
Time is running out, as the cops only have custody of Chintan till January 1, while custody of the other four arrested accused ends today. After a whole week of being questioned by the Crime Branch, it was only when the Kandivali police interrogated him that Chintan was arrested on Tuesday. He was charged under Sections 302 (murder), 120 (B) (criminal conspiracy) and section 201 (causing disappearance of evidence of offence, or giving false information to screen offender).
Chintan was arrested on the basis of the statement of one of the other accused, Pradeep Rajbhar, who said Chintan had planned the double murder and told the killers how to carry it out in a meeting at a Chembur hotel. However, the cops still do not know which hotel this was.
Another loophole in the case against Chintan is that the cops have so far been unable to prove that Chintan was in the city on the day of the alleged Chembur meeting. Pradeep said the meeting took place on December 9. The cops have learnt that Chintan had flown pout of Mumbai to Delhi on the day before that, but have no evidence that he returned to Mumbai in time for the meeting.
Earlier, cops had also said that Chintan had meetings with Gotu in Rajasthan months before the murders took place, but they have not been able to prove this either. Sources said the missing pieces of the puzzle will only come to light once Gotu is nabbed, but he has managed to elude the authorities so far. A special team of top Mumbai Police officers are working on this case, and a massive manhunt has been launched to nab Gotu, said officials. Meanwhile, the police are also on the search for evidence that will help extend Chintan's custody.