Jeweller's murder: 2 held, 'Gopi bahu' questioned

Jeweller's murder: 2 held, 'Gopi bahu' questioned

Sachin Pawar and Devoleena Bhattacharya

A BJP worker, who was a former personal assistant (PA) of a high-profile Maharashtra minister, and a suspended police constable were arrested in connection with the mysterious murder of Rajeshwar Udani, billionaire diamond merchant and an art-collector.

Popular television actor and dancer, Devoleena Bhattacharya was also questioned by police for having links with the businessman, who was missing for over 10 days and now found dead.

Devoleena, known for her work in Saath Nibhaana Saathiya as 'Gopi Bahu', was grilled for several hours on Saturday evening.

She is one of the highest paid soaps actor.

The police have arrested Sachin Pawar, a former PA of Housing Minister Prakash Mehta.

Devoleena and Sachin were taken into custody for interrogation after they landed here from Guwahati.

The suspended constable was identified as Deepak Pawar, who was already in custody for a different case since November 7.

"So far we have arrested two persons Sachin Pawar and Deepak Pawar... Further investigation is in progress," a police official said.

Asked about the reason, he said: "As of now one of the reasons is financial dispute. Another could be that the victim had wrong intentions towards a lady friend of the suspect."

When pointed out that a TV actor has been questioned, the official said: "We have interrogated several persons."

Mehta, however, said he had no association with the prime suspect, Sachin.

"He (Sachin) worked as an assistant from 2004-09. In 2009 corporation elections, he contested as an Independent. The BJP had suspended him from the party. Since then I have no relations with him in any way," he said.

In 2017, Pawar returned to the BJP and his wife was given ticket for municipal polls.

"It is wrong to link me with Pawar. The Mumbai police is an efficient organisation and they would deal with the case sternly," Mehta added.

Nearly 10 days ago, the 57-year-old diamond trader, a resident of Mahalaxmi apartment in Ghatkopar West was reported missing. 

Udani's son Ronak had lodged a formal comlaint with the police.

On Friday evening, highly decomposed body of Udani was found near Dehrang dam close to Dudhane village in Panvel in the adjoining Raigad district.

The Pantnagar police identified the body with the help of family members. The body was identified based on clothes and footwear of the deceased.

There were no external injury marks on the body.

The post-mortem was conducted at the government-run Sir JJ Hospital and the report is awaited.

Udani was last seen after he left his Vikhroli office on November 28.

His cellphone was active for some time but later went blank.

On November 29, a missing complaint was filed but on December 4, it was converted into an FIR of kidnapping.

His last location was traced to Rabale. His call data records have revealed that he was in touch with several women including bar girls.

Apart from diamond trade, the Udanis also deal in antiques.

Preliminary investigations have revealed that Pawar had introduced Devoleena to the businessman.