Artist Hema Upadhyay And Her Lawyer Found Murdered In Mumbai

14/12/2015 8:41 AM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST
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INDIA - AUGUST 30: Hema Upadhyay, Artist at her Studio in Mumbai, Maharashtra, India ( for IT Woman Magazine ) (Photo by Mandar Deodhar/The India Today Group/Getty Images)

The bodies of celebrated installation artist Hema Upadhyay (43) and her lawyer Harish Bhambhani (65) were found in Mumbai's Kandivli on Saturday, stuffed inside cardboard containers, according to reports.

The DNA reported that Hema was involved in an bitter divorce battle with her artist husband Chintan Upadhyay. The report said that the Mumbai police questioned Chintan for over six hours on Sunday while a fourth suspect, a metal fabrication artist called Rajbhar, could hold the key to the murder.

The bodies of Hema and Bhambhani, their hands and feet tied with ropes, were recovered from near a drain in Kandivali, PTI quoted the Deputy Commissioner of Police (Detection) Dhananjay Kulkarni as saying.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, a police officer involved in the probe said the bodies were in "semi-naked" condition.

The Indian Express reported that Bhambhani’s hands and legs were fastened with black duct tape which was was also used to blindfold him. He was gagged with cloth and the mouth was also covered with duct tape. Hema was allegedly wearing a black shirt with floral prints and a pair of black pants.

"Police have not detained anybody yet and are only making inquiry. Police are quizzing those people who were in touch with Hema and her lawyer," added Kulkarni.

hema upadhyay

The bodies were stuffed inside cardboard boxes before being wrapped in plastic sheets that were sewn up, sources said. The bodies have been sent for autopsy and findings are awaited, they said.

A domestic help of Hema had lodged a missing complaint with Santa Cruz police station after she did not return home all Friday. The wife of Bhambhani had also filed a missing complaint with Matunga police station since he did not return home after having told them he was going to meet a client.

DCP Zone 11, Vickram Deshmane, who is probing the case, refused to confirm whether Hema's domestic help or Bhambani's family had registered missing complaints. Police said Bhambhani's car, in which he had left for the meeting, is still to be traced.

The Baroda-born artist had in 2013 filed a case against Chintan, alleging he painted obscene pictures of women on the walls of their matrimonial home in Mumbai to harass her. Bhambani had represented Hema in the case.

Last month, Chintan Upadhyay was detained by the Rajasthan police for "hurting religious sentiments" for an installation named 'The Bovine Divine' -- a plastic cow suspended by a balloon -- at the Jaipur Art Summit. (With PTI inputs)

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