A couple living in London are facing calls to be extradited to India over allegations they arranged for the murder of their adopted son to grab a £150,000 insurance payout are fighting moves to be hauled to India to face justice.
According to BBC, Airport worker Arti Dhir, 55, and Kaval Raijada, 30, have denied planning the abduction and fatal stabbing of tragic orphan Gopal Sejani in 2017. Arti Dhir and Kaval Raijada from Hanwell, west London, deny organising the killing of Gopal Sejani, who was abducted and stabbed in Gujarat, India before dying of his injuries soon after.
The Indian government has been granted permission by the UK High Court to appeal for the extradition of a UK-based couple to face charges of murder of their adopted son in India in 2017. The UK’s Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), which represents the Indian authorities in court extradition proceedings, said on Wednesday that permission to appeal had been granted against a lower court’s order to extradite Indian-origin British citizen Arti Dhir and her husband Kaval Raijada for the murder of 11-year-old Gopal and his brother-in-law. The appeal in the extradition request, which had been turned down by Westminster Magistrates’ Court in London in July, will be heard at the Royal Courts of Justice on January 28 next year.
The husband and wife, from Hanwell, had travelled to Keshod, a town in Gujarat, to adopt an orphan in 2015. According to court documents, Indian authorities say the couple placed an advert in a local newspaper, promising they would take an adopted child to live in London. The couple then met Gopal, a farm boy who was living with his older sister and her husband, Harsukh Kardani.
The pair, who were his guardians, agreed to the adoption, believing the child would have a better life in the UK. They began preparing adoption papers. However, Indian police claim Ms Dhir and Mr Raijada - who had no children of their own - had other plans. Authorities in India say Ms Dhir took out an insurance policy in Gopal's name. The policy was worth approximately £150,000 and would pay out after 10 years, or in the event of his death.
According to the documents, she made two premium payments, each of £15,000. "After a few days she took out an insurance policy in his name," Superintendent Saurab Singh of Junagadh Police, in Gujarat, told the BBC.
The couple returned home to London but Gopal never made it to the UK. He remained in Gujarat while visa papers were arranged for him. On 8 February 2017, he was abducted by two men on motorbikes, stabbed and left by a road in Gujarat. His brother-in-law, Mr Kardani, was also attacked as he tried to defend the boy. Both died of their injuries in hospital later that month. Indian authorities say two previous attempts had been made against the boy's life, but both failed. The insurance policy never paid out.