Key accused’s family say they are worried, while cops are worried how he has managed to evade arrest for so long
Two days after arresting Chintan Upadhyay as a suspect in the murders of his wife Hema and her lawyer Harish Bhambani, the police have not gotten any breakthrough — either from him or in trying to trace the whereabouts of his fabricator Vidyadhar Rajbhar.
Police sources have so far claimed that Chintan ordered the hit and Vidyadhar, with his fellow accused, executed it. But two days into his custody, police sources said Chintan has not been cooperating.
Further, Vidyadhar’s family members on Thursday said they are worried that he may already be dead. The police, too, are worried how Vidyadhar has managed to evade arrest for so many days. Officers and personnel of five police stations — Kandivli, Charkop, Malad, Borivli and Bangur Nagar — are involved in the hunt for Vidyadhar, even as the Crime Branch continues its parallel investigation.
On Thursday, the Kandivli police called Vidyadhar’s mother, sister and wife, ostensibly to take their statements. Speaking to mid-day outside the police station, sister Geeta said Vidyadhar had not gotten in touch with any of them and that the family is worried that he may already be dead.
She told the police that their father, Vanshraj, had earned enough for the family and that it was difficult to believe that her brother could kill someone for money. She said the police have not told the family anything concrete about their search for Vidyadhar.
Senior criminal lawyers told mid-day that the police’s investigation will get derailed if they do not manage to nab him soon.
Senior Advocate Majeed Memon told mid-day, “In an sensational murder case like this, the sudden disappearance of a witness or suspect is a matter of serious concern. The investigation agency will have to trace the person without loss of time and interrogate him soon to get to the bottom of the truth.”
Last evening, Vikram Deshmane, DCP (Zone XI), personally interrogated all the accused, including Chintan.
Hema and advocate Bhambhani were murdered on December 11 and their bodies were dumped in a Kandivli nullah. The police first suspected the fabricator Vidyadhar. Following the arrest of three fellow accused, they arrested Chintan as a suspect. The couple divorced after a long and bitterly contested legal battle. Bhambhani was Hema’s lawyer in the case.
— with inputs from Sailee Dhayalkar