An Indian-origin woman based in London, accused of being part of the murder of a 12-year-old child in Gujarat, could be extradited to India. Arti Dhir appeared in front of the Westminster Magistrates’ Court in London for a bail application hearing on Jan. 23.
“This should be sorted out in a week,” Chief Magistrate Emma Arbuthnot said as Dhir continued to remain in custody till a security is deposited in the court. The hearing is pending as her family members have been able to manage a sum of £50,000 as security.
After an Interpol alert over the murder, Dhir, 52, was arrested in February 2017, PTI reported. Her hearing for extradition is scheduled at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on April 30.
Dhir, a worker at the Heathrow Airport, allegedly hatched the plot with the two accused, Nitish Mund and Kanwaljit Raizada. She is said to have met them while they were studying in London. They planned to adopt a child and then insure him for around Rs 1.3 crore. Dhir adopted the child Gopal Ajani in Gujarat in 2015, according to the Gujarat Police.
According to reports, they then staged his kidnapping and murder in India. They were looking to pocket the insurance money and split it three ways.
In February 2017, the 12-year-old boy and his brother-in-law, Harsukh Patel, were stabbed and killed by hitmen near Rajkot. The Gujarat Police started investigating the matter and claimed that Dhir, Mund and Raizada had hired the hitmen to kill the child to pocket the sum of insurance.
“After the adoption formalities of Gopal were completed, they had taken a life insurance of Rs 1.30 crore (£150,000) for the boy. The insurance money was to be shared among the three in proportion to the premium they contributed. They had also paid two premiums of Rs 13 lakh (£15,000) each. From the day Gopal’s life insurance was taken, Nitish began making plans to kill him,” Inspector Ashok Tilva of Gujarat Police said, the Sun reported in September.
In April last year, a red notice was issued by Interpol for Dhir. She was arrested by the police in June, although she had told her family members that she was off on a holiday. A relative of Dhir was earlier reported as saying that they were not aware about her and that she had told them she was going on a holiday. “Now we see she is wanted for murder of a 12-year-old boy which is very concerning for us,” the relative said, reported the Sun.