In a sensational development, a politician and a suspended policeman have been arrested while a prominent model-cum-television actress was interrogated under detention by Mumbai Police following the mysterious murder of a diamantaire, Rajeshwar K Udani, officials said on Saturday.
The politician, Sachin Pawar, was a close friend and business partner of the victim and earlier with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the suspended policeman is the main person who executive the crime, the police said.
Earlier, actress Debolina Bhattacharya was grilled for several hours by police in Ghatkopar three days after the missing Udani's body was recovered in the forests of adjoining Raigad district.
However, officials remain tight-lipped over her role in the case but hinted that some more women from the entertainment industry may be summoned for questioning, and did not rule out more arrests in the case.
Udani, 57, had been reported missing by his family from his office from November 28. The police had registered a missing case and launched a search for him. His mobile was tracked in Rabale, Navi Mumbai, before its signal was lost.
After nearly a week, on December 4, since he remained untraced and the family suspected something amiss, police registered a kidnapping case.
His driver told police that Udani asked him to be dropped near the Pant Nagar market where another vehicle came and he got into it.
His highly decomposed body, without any apparent injuries, was found late on December 5 and bereft of any identity paper. He was identified by his son from the clothes and shoes he was wearing.
Investigators suspect Udani's kidnappers may have killed him at some other location before dumping the body in the Panvel forests.
Police investigations and call data records have revealed that Udani was a regular at some bars and in touch with several women, including from the glamour and entertainment industry, through Sachin Pawar, a former aide to a Maharashtra Minister, Prakash Mehta.
Admitting that Pawar was with him from 2004 to 2009, Mehta on Friday evening said since then he had severed all links with him and claimed that he had been sacked from the BJP after he contested a BMC election as an independent.
The motive, as unraveled so far, was some financial dispute between Sachin Pawar and Udani, besides the latter allegedly eyeing a woman friend with 'wrong intentions'.
Sachin Pawar was tracked down to Guwahati, where he had reportedly fled after Udani's murder and he was tracked by mobile records, while Dinesh Pawar was already arrested in another case on Friday.
They are being charged for murer, criminal conspiracy and other offences, said the official.
Police have questioned two dozen persons and are on the lookout for the vehicle which picked up the victim on the night he went missing.
Dancer-model Bhattacharya, 28, is also an award-winning actress, seen in several TV serials notably as Gopi Bahu in the popular "Saath Nibhana Sathiya" besides reality shows.