Hours after he was arrested on Monday, Shivkumar Rajbhar, one of the accused in the murder of artist Hema Upadhyay and her lawyer Harish Bhambhani, told police that he and four others eliminated the duo in Mumbai after Hema defaulted on a payment for an idol made by his employer, Vidyadhar alias Vidya, a metal fabrication artist who is missing and is prime suspect.
However police are not fully ruling out other motives behind the murder of Hema and her lawyer Harish Bhambhani.
The UP Special Task Force and the Mumbai police jointly launched an operation to pick up Shivkumar Sadhu Rajbhar from Varanasi.
“Shivkumar has claimed that five people were part of the murder conspiracy. Hema had defaulted in making payments and that was the possible reason for killing her. We have recovered 11 bank cards -- six belonging to Hema and five belonging to Bhambhani -- from Shivkumar’s Varanasi residence. There are some club house cards which have also been recovered. Chintan’s visiting card was also seized from his residence during the searches,” UP Additional DGP Daljit Chowdhary was quoted by the Indian Express.
Another senior police officer claimed that Shivkumar had said that it was he who had gagged the artist and her lawyer on the instructions of his boss. However, he had not been paid for it.
Meanwhile, Chintan, Hema’s estranged husband, was summoned again to the Kandivali unit of the Mumbai crime branch and questioned. The police are yet to give him a clean chit, sources claim.
The bodies of Hema, 43, and Bhambhani, 65, their hands and feet tied with ropes, were recovered from a drain in suburban Kandivali on Saturday night. The bodies were stuffed in two cardboard boxes. Their samples have been sent for chemical analysis and their autopsy reports are awaited