December 13, 2016
A year has passed since the bodies of artist Hema Upadhyay and her lawyer Haresh Bhambhani were found dumped in a nullah in Kandivli, but the wounds are still fresh for Bhambhani’s family as they struggle to get their lives back on track. Speaking to DNA, Bhambhani’s daughter Anita has said there would be no closure for the family until one of the main accused, Vidyadhar Rajbhar, was tracked down and punished.
Anita has demanded the death penalty for Hema’s husband Chintan Upadhyay, another noted contemporary artist, saying that he was responsible for the “irreparable loss” she was still finding tough to come to terms with.
Speaking to DNA a year after the gruesome murder came to light, Anita rubbished claims by the some of the accused that her father was murdered only because he had accompanied Hema on the fateful day. “If my father was collateral damage, then how were two coffins found in Vidyadhar’s workshop? The police, in fact, have been the ones to tell us that the plan was hatched for both of them. In a conversation that Vidyadhar had with Hema before the murder, in which she was told about Chintan’s clips, she had specifically told Vidyadhar that she would be accompanied by her lawyer, so why would they agree to meet, if they wanted to only murder Hema? They instead said bring your lawyer also,” Anita said.
According to Anita, her father was killed as he was representing Hema in court, and because the needle of suspicion would have pointed directly at Chintan if Hema alone were to have disappeared. Anita also claimed, “Pradeep Rajbhar, an accused in the case, has said in his statement before a magistrate that Vidyadhar had sent photographs of Hema and my father’s bodies through WhatsApp to Chintan. This nails Chintan’s role in the case.”