Arti Dhir (L), 55, and Kaval Raijada, 30,are wanted in India for the murder of their adopted son (Picture: Interpol)
The UK has come under pressure to extradite a couple accused of hiring assassins to kill their adopted son in India so they could claim his life insurance. Indian authorities want Arti Dhir, 55, and Kaval Raijada, 30, to return to the country but they have so far been denied by British courts that have ruled it would contravene the couple’s human rights.
They have now been given permission to make another appeal. Indian police alleged the husband and wife, from west London, planned the murder of Gopal Sejani, 11, in Gujarat, in 2017 in order to get a £150,000 payout from an insurance company.
Both of them deny the allegations.
Junagadh Police Superintendent Saurab Singh, in Gujarat, told the BBC: “It was a huge amount and she paid two premiums (£15,000), knowing very well that in the event of Gopal’s death, she would be paid ten times the insured amount.”
The couple, who do not have children, adopted orphan Gopal after initially placing a newspaper advert in 2015, according to court papers. The farm boy was in the care of his brother in law Harsukh Kardani and his older sister at the time and they agreed to let him go because they wanted a better life for him in the UK. Police alleged it was all a deception and the couple actually planned his killing after taking out a life insurance policy, which would be paid out after a decade, after visiting Keshod, in Gujarat, India. Gopal died in hospital after being kidnapped and stabbed by two men on motorbikes in Gujarat on February 8, 2017, according to police.
The boy, who was found lying injured in the street, had been waiting for his UK visa application to be approved. Gopal’s brother-in-law Mr Kardani was also murdered trying to defend him from the attackers. Police said it was the third time someone had tried to kill the boy.
They later arrested four men, with one of them claiming they were a friend of Ms Dhir and Mr Raijada and had previously lived with them in London when he was a student. The couple is wanted for a total of six offences,
including kidnapping and conspiracy to murder.
They were detained by British police in June 2017 after an extradition request was sent by the Indian authorities but this was ultimately denied by a judge on July 2. Senior District Judge Emma Arbuthnot admitted there was enough evidence to extradite the couple but argued the maximum punishment they could receive of life in prison without parole would have contravened their human rights under UK law.
She described the sentence as inhuman and degrading, with experts arguing the fact India was unlikely to release the couple even in compassionate circumstances influenced the judge’s decision. Ms Dhir, who is on bail with her husband until an appeal from Indian authorities is heard, refused to comment when she was approached by the BBC outside her home.
The insurance company never paid out to the couple.
The investigation of the murders in India continues.
Source: Yahoo! News.