Hema Upadhyay murder: We are paying for being related to alleged killers, say relatives

Updated: Dec 12, 2019, 08:25 IST | Samiullah Khan | Mumbai

On the other hand, Vidyadhar's maternal uncle, Abhimanyu Rajbhar, has a metal fabrication business in Dindoshi

Chintan Upadhay at Hema's funeral in Dec 2015. File pic
Chintan Upadhay at Hema's funeral in Dec 2015. File pic

Exactly four years since the murder of artist Hema Upadhyay and her divorce lawyer Harish Bhambhani, mid-day spoke to the family of prime accused Vidyadhar Rajbhar alias Gotu, who has been on the run ever since the murder. While his relatives have had to suffer a loss in business, his mother said that if Vidyadhar's arrest can pave the way for others to be released, he must be held.

I HOPE to see my son at least once before I die. I look for him among the beggars sitting outside temples. I also observe homeless people to see if one of them is my son. I don't know what happened exactly. Had he been here, I would have asked him to tell me the facts," said Savitri Rajbhar.

"If my son's arrest paves the way for the rest of the imprisoned accused to get bail, my son must be arrested," she added. Savitri said that Vidyadhar's metal fabrication workshop in Kandivli remains sealed. "Had it been handed over to us, I would have managed to revive the business. But the legal complications have kept me roaming from one place to another to get justice. I am living at the mercy of my relatives," she said.

Vidyadhar Rajbhar
Vidyadhar Rajbhar

On the other hand, Vidyadhar's maternal uncle, Abhimanyu Rajbhar, has a metal fabrication business in Dindoshi. However, after the names of the Rajbhars — Vidyadhar, Pradeep, Shivkumar and Vijay, in relation with the killings, cropped up in the media, his business started suffering.

"I was in the same business as Gotu. All my clients knew that he is my nephew. Since the killings, clients stopped giving me orders. I hardly make statues anymore. My son has been working as a food delivery person while my wife works in a garment factory," Abhimanyu told mid-day.

"We are paying for being related to an alleged killer. Our reputation and the business have suffered," he said. His wife, Madhuri said, "We are lucky to have gotten out two daughters married before the killings happened. Otherwise, it would have been very difficult to find a good family for them. Our third daughter is in school and our son helps run the house. This is the toughest time for us."

She added that relatives now maintain a safe distance from the family. "What was our fault though?" she said. The double murders were allegedly committed out by Vidyadhar with the help of his associates at the behest of Upadhyay's husband, artist Chintan Upadhyay. The bodies were thrown in a Kandivli nullah on the night of the murder and discovered the next day.

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