Hanwell Couple Accused of Murdering Adopted Son

Indian police claim they killed 11-year-old boy for insurance pay-out

Arti Dhir and Kaval Raijada


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October 17, 2019

A couple from Hanwell are being accused in India of having their adopted son killed in order to get a £150,000 pay-out from an insurance policy.

55-year-old Arti Dhir and 30-year-old Kaval Raijada have denied arranging the murder of 11-year-old Gopal Sejani who died of his injuries in Gujarat after being abducted and stabbed.

A request has been made to extradite the couple from the UK by the Indian authorities on charges of conspiracy to murder and kidnapping but this has been refused on human rights grounds. The couple were arrested in the UK in 2017 but in July of this year the request for extradition was turned down at Westminster Magistrates' Court. The judge argued that the likely penalty for the couple if found guilty of a double murder would be prison without parole which she said would be ‘inhuman and degrading.”

However, she did say that there was a 'circumstantial prima facie case’ that the couple were involved in the offences they were being accused of that otherwise would have justified extradition

The couple adopted Gopal from the town of Keshod in 2015 after placing an ad in a local paper. He was living with his sister and her husband who agreed to hand over Gopal to give him a chance of a better life in London. However, Gujarat police say that Gopal never made it to the UK and his new parents immediately took out an insurance policy on his life.

During the attack on Gopal by two men on motorbikes on 8 February 2017, his brother-in-law, Harsukh Kardani, tried to defend him and also died in hospital as a result of his wounds. A man has been arrested in connection with the murders who police say stayed with Dhir and Raijada when he was studying in London. He is one of four men that have been arrested in connection with the case.

Saurab Singh of the local police, told the BBC, 'After a few days she took out an insurance policy in his name.

'It was a huge amount and she paid two premiums, knowing very well that in the event of Gopal's death, she would be paid 10 times the insured amount.'

It is also claimed that there were two previous attempts on the boy’s life.

As a result of suspicions about the case the insurance company refused to pay out.


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