Little India: Overseas Indian, NRI, Asian Indian, Indian American

NRI Denied Bail for Murder That Took Place 20 Years Ago in Gujarat

Representational Image

A Non-Resident Indian nabbed 20 years after allegedly committing a murder in India was denied bail by the Gujarat High Court recently. He was caught at the Mumbai airport in January 2018 for a murder that took place in his village in Kheda in 1998.

Ashwin Patel was caught for allegedly murdering Girish Patel by poisoning him in April 1998, the Times of India reported. Ashwin and Girish, who were business partners in New Jersey, had returned to their native village, Surasamal, near Nadiad. Girish had migrated to America in 1988 and settled there. He married a U.S. citizen and the couple had two kids.

Ashwin, Girish’s cousin, joined him in the United States a few years later, and initially, lived with him. According to the statement given by Girish’s brother to the police, Ashwin and Girish’s wife started having an affair. Girish later divorced his wife due to the reason and sent his children to India.

In April 1998, Girish was in India and Ashwin had also returned to meet him. Ashwin and two others allegedly hatched a plan to abduct Girish and murder him. Girish was found dead, lying in the Narmada canal near Jol village.

One of the conspirators in the murder committed suicide in April 1998 after Girish’s death.

“Mayank committed suicide on railway tracks near Vasad in April that year, leaving behind a note that he cannot run away from truth. Investigations revealed Mayank had gone to Mumbai to drop Ashwin from where he left for the United States. It was matter of time when we put pieces of jigsaw together through technical intelligence and arrested the accused Ashok and Jashbhai,” VR Toliya, the then inspector of LCB Kheda, told the publication.

Two other people were arrested and put on trial but were acquitted later. However, the police were able to arrest Ashwin, who had changed his surname to Pathak, through a Lookout Notice.

This is the second time his bail was rejected. A chargesheet was filed against him and he applied to the high court with contention that two persons have been acquitted in this case and there was no evidence against him. However, Justice JB Pardiwala denied bail and ordered the trial court to complete the trial against him within three months, according to another TOI report.

The HC also said, “The directions issued by this Court with regard to conduct the trial on day-to-day basis shall be strictly complied with, failing which appropriate action shall be taken on the administrative side.”