MUMBAI: The family members of artist Hema Upadhyay, who was killed along with her lawyer last week, suspect the role of her estranged husband Chintan Upadhyaya in the double murder and want the police to probe it.
The deceased artist's cousin brother Deepak Prasad told mediapersons here yesterday that he and his other family members "strongly suspect Chintan's role behind the conspiracy to kill Hema and her 65-year-old lawyer Harish Bhambhani".
Prasad also said that the motive, as cited, of the prime accused Vidhyadhar Rajbhar and his men to kill Hema and her lawyer for Rs five lakh was not true, as she had financially helped Vidhyadhar in the past and never asked him to return her money.
He also alleged that some years back, Chintan had threatened Hema that he would kill her and could go to any extent to do that.
Meanwhile, a senior police officer, who is probing the case, told PTI today that, "When a body is recovered and identified, police immediately take the statements of the deceased's relatives to get their version."
"In this case too, we had taken the statements of the deceased's relatives. Hema's relatives have accused Chintan of hatching the conspiracy to kill her," he said.
Based on the statements of Hema's relatives, Chintan was constantly grilled for four days by several police officers in connection with the twin murders, he said.
The deceased artist's husband still remains a "suspect" in the case, he said, adding the motive behind the murder is yet to become clear.
However, without proper evidence, police cannot arrest anyone based on mere allegations, he further stated.
Only after the arrest of the Vidhyadhar, who is on the run, the police could get a clear picture about involvement of Chintan, if any, the officer said.
He also said that Hema's relatives were trying to build pressure on the investigating team by approaching the media and expressing their views which they have already mentioned in the statements given to police.
Bodies of noted installation artist Hema (43) and her lawyer Harish Bhambhani wrapped in plastic and packed in separate cardboard boxes were found dumped in a drain in suburban Kandivali on December 12.