Pictured: Couple ‘who had adopted son, 11, killed for a £150,000 insurance payout’ stroll home after Christmas shopping in London as they continue to avoid extradition to India
- Arti Dhir and Kaval Raijada are prime suspects in horrific plot to murder their son
- They have been the subject of extradition requests from the Indian government
- But they have avoided extradition on grounds it would breach their human rights
Walking home from a spot of Christmas shopping, former Heathrow Airport workers Arti Dhir and Kaval Raijada looked like they hadn’t a care in the world.
Free to do as they please, the couple can pop from their West London council flat to the post office or gym without so much as raising an eyebrow.
Yet, remarkably, the pair are the prime suspects in a horrific plot to murder their 11-year-old adopted son in India for a £150,000 insurance payout – and have repeatedly managed to evade justice.
Dhir, 55, and Raijada, 31, have been the subject of extradition requests from the Indian government to return and stand trial for their alleged roles in the murders of little Gopal Sejani and his brother-in-law Harsukhbhai Kardani, who was killed attempting to save the child.
Walking home from a spot of Christmas shopping, former Heathrow Airport workers Arti Dhir and Kaval Raijada looked like they hadn’t a care in the world
But they have avoided extradition from Britain on the controversial grounds that it would breach their human rights.
In February, the High Court in London heard that, if convicted of a double murder in India, the couple face the prospect of a life sentence without parole.
This would be ‘inhuman and degrading treatment’, breaching Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights, it was said.
Since then, the Indian authorities have appealed, but again lost their case. Scotland Yard is yet to launch a formal investigation into claims that the couple plotted the murder from their home in Hanwell.
The Indian government is said to be considering its next steps. But until then, the couple remain free to walk the streets of London.
Court documents filed in the UK allege that in 2015 Dhir and her husband Raijada agreed to adopt orphan Gopal, from the poor village of Maliya Hatina, in rural Gujurat, with the promise of a ‘better life’ in England.
Dhir, 55, and Raijada, 31, have been the subject of extradition requests from the Indian government to return and stand trial for their alleged roles in the murders of little Gopal Sejani and his brother-in-law Harsukhbhai Kardani, who was killed attempting to save the child
Shortly after the adoption process commenced, Dhir took out a ‘wealth builder’ life insurance policy on the boy, making her the sole beneficiary of the potential £150,000 payout in the event of his death.
In February 2017, Gopal and his brother-in-law had travelled to the city of Rakjot to finalise the adoption. On the way back, they were set upon by two men on motorbikes and stabbed.
Gopal was dumped by the side of the road and died from his wounds in hospital while his brother-in-law was fatally stabbed while trying to protect him.
Nitish Mund, a student who formerly shared the Hanwell flat with the couple, said he had been recruited by Raijada to orchestrate the murder in India for cash. He is currently in custody in the country.
Britain’s chief magistrate, Emma Arbuthnot, earlier this year ruled that there was strong circumstantial evidence that the couple ‘together with others committed the offences’. They deny any wrongdoing.
Earlier this year, Conservative MP Tim Loughton, who sits on the Commons home affairs select committee, told the Daily Mail: ‘Do we really want suspected child killers roaming the streets of London?’
A spokesman for Dhir declined to comment and a spokesman for Raijada did not respond to a request for comment.
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