Mumbai police probe murder of 'art genius,' lawyer found bound in boxes

Bodies of artist, lawyer found in cardboard boxes
Bodies of artist, lawyer found in cardboard boxes

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Story highlights

  • Bodies were found in boxes dumped in a drain over the weekend
  • Hema Upadhyay, 43, specialized in the depiction of life in the metropolis of Mumbai

Delhi (CNN)Police in Mumbai are investigating the suspected murder of an artist and her lawyer, whose bodies were found bound and dumped in cardboard cartons over the weekend, officers said Monday.

The boxes carrying the bodies of artist Hema Upadhyay and her legal counsel Harish Bhambhani were recovered from a drain on Saturday, said Mumbai's police spokesman Dhananjay Kulkarni.
    The victims' hands and legs had been bound, and their bodies wrapped in plastic sheets, according to area police inspector N.G. Rathore.
    Upadhyay, 43, specialized in the depiction of life in the metropolis of Mumbai, according to New Delhi's Vadhera Art Gallery. Her artwork centered around migration, dislocation and multi-cultural aspects of India's financial capital, it said in a profile.
    Indian artist Hema Upadhyay poses in front of her "Think Left, Think Right, Think Low, Think Tight" installation at the Paris's Pompidou Centre on May 23, 2011.
    Art critic and curator Uma Nair said in a blog post in the Times of India that Upadhyay's work tackled urbanization, migration and landscapes.
    "The news of her death and her body wrapped in plastic had a strange macabre surrealism because the murderer knew her language -- he/she placed her remains like a dead fish in a dreary landscape of viciousness and hatred. RIP beautiful person," Nair wrote in the blog headlined "Indian contemporary art's genius: Hema Upadhyay."
    Mumbai's police are treating her death and that of her lawyer as suspected murder.
    Several people have been questioned, including the artist's former husband, Kulkarni said. However, no one has been formally taken into custody.
    "No arrests or detentions in the case (so far)," wrote Mumbai's deputy police commissioner Vikram Deshmane in a text message. "(Our) inquiry is on."