Prime suspect held in Mumbai double-murder case

Prime suspect held in Mumbai double-murder case

A prime suspect in the Hema-Harish murder case was arrested in Gosainpur, 25km from Varanasi, on Monday as the Mumbai Police inched towards a breakthrough.

Monetary dispute appears to be the cause behind the murder of sculptor and painter Hema Upadhyay and her lawyer Harish Bhambhani.

Acting on a request by the Mumbai Police, the Special Task Force (STF) of the Uttar Pradesh Police arrested Shiv Kumar alias Sadhu Rajbhar, a prime suspect.

The STF team raided a house in Gosainpur and arrested Kumar, who has confessed to taking part in the murder. The police, however, said that the interrogation is still on.

Sources said Kumar has alleged that Hema had loaned Rs 5 lakh to an acquaintance of his and had been insisting on its repayment.

Three other suspects–Azad Rajbhor, Pradeep Rajbhor and Vijay Rajbhor–have been detained in Mumbai and are being questioned. A few debit cards, credit cards and identity cards were also seized.

The accused were in the business of making and selling fibre glass, which was used by Hema and her husband Chintan Upadhyay, also an artist, for their installations.

Before she was murdered on Saturday, Hema got a call on her mobile from one of the suspects who wanted to meet her and settle a financial issue, but Hema preferred to take her lawyer along.

Hema and Bhambhani’s bodies were found in the early hours of Sunday. Their bodies were cut into pieces, packed in cardboard boxes, wrapped in plastic sheets and was transported in a tempo before it was dumped in a large open drain at Kandivli.

Hema’s brother Manish and Bhambhani’s family later identified the bodies.Chintan was questioned at the Kandivli police station on Monday, and the police have recorded the statement of the watchman at Hema’s apartment in Juhu Tara Road and her domestic help Lalit Mandal.

The police have also spoken to Hema and Chintan’s relatives. The couple were going through a bitter matrimonial dispute since the last five years.

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