#missingkids | London couple ‘arranged murder of adopted son’ to claim insurance

A London couple are facing allegations they arranged for their adopted son, 11, to be murdered for a £150,000 insurance pay-out.   

Arti Dhir, 55, and Kaval Raijada, 30, 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.

Indian authorities believe that Dhir and Rajiada arranged the killing of their adopted son so they could cash in a life insurance policy for £150,000. 

So far, Britain has rejected requests to extradite the couple to face trial in India on human rights grounds.

However, the Indian government has now been granted leave to appeal the decision.

Kaval Raijada, 30, from Hanwell, west London

Arti Dhir, 55 (left), and Kaval Raijada, 30 (right), from Hanwell, west London have been accused or arranging the murder of their adopted son for an insurance payment

According to court papers, the couple traveled to Keshod, a  town in Gujarat, to adopt an orphan in 2015.

Authorities claim they then placed an advert in a local newspaper to find a suitable child to take back to London. 

This ad led to them meeting Gopal, who was living with his older sister and her husband. 

They agreed to his adoption because they thought it would give Gopal the chance of a better life in London.  

But Gopal would never see the UK and, according to Indian authorities, his adoptive parents immediately took an insurance policy in Gopal’s name. 

It is alleged that the policy would pay out after 10 years, or in the event of Gopal’s death and Dhir made two payments of £15,000, knowing an insurance claim would give them around £150,000. 

Gopal Sejani, 11, was abducted and stabbed in Gujarat, India before dying of his injuries soon after

Gopal Sejani, 11, was abducted and stabbed in Gujarat, India before dying of his injuries soon after

His brother-in-law, Harsukh Kardani, was also attacked while trying to defend Gopal and also died in hospital

His brother-in-law, Harsukh Kardani, was also attacked while trying to defend Gopal and also died in hospital

Saurab Singh of Junagadh Police, in Gujarat, 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.’

On February 8, 2017, Gopal was abducted, stabbed and abandoned on a road in Gujarat by two men on motorbikes. 

His brother-in-law, Harsukh Kardani, was also attacked while trying to defend Gopal and they both died later in that month.  

Indian authorities claim that two previous attempts had also been made against the boy’s life before he was eventually killed. 

The insurance policy never paid out.

Police in India arrested a suspect who they claimed was a friend of Dhir and Raijada and had spent time with them in London as a student.

Indian authorities say Dhir (pictured) took out a life insurance policy in Gopal's name shortly before he was killed

Indian authorities say Dhir (pictured) took out a life insurance policy in Gopal’s name shortly before he was killed

Saurab Singh of Junagadh Police, in Gujarat, said the couple knew they could get up to £150,000 in the event of Gopal's death

Saurab Singh of Junagadh Police, in Gujarat, said the couple knew they could get up to £150,000 in the event of Gopal’s death

The suspect is one of four men arrested in India for their alleged involvement in the killing.

Dhir and Raijada face six charges in India, including conspiracy to murder and kidnapping.

They were arrested in the UK in June 2017 after a request from the Indian government but, on July 2 this year, a judge at Westminster Magistrates’ Court refused their extradition on human rights grounds.  

Senior District Judge Emma Arbuthnot ruled extradition would have been against the couple’s human rights under UK law as the penalty for double murder in Gujarat is life in prison without parole. 

She added the ‘irreducible sentence’ would be ‘inhuman and degrading’.

However, she also said there was sufficient evidence to justify their extradition as there was a ‘circumstantial prima facie case that Ms Dhir and Mr Raijada acting together and with others committed the offences’.  


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