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Last Updated: Monday, July 23, 2007 | 5:05 PM CT CBC News
Asha Goel's family wants Ottawa to get involved in the case
Almost four years after a Canadian doctor was the victim of a brutal beating death in Mumbai, India, her children say they are feeling betrayed by the Canadian government.
Dr. Asha Goel was an obstetrician who had a four-decade-long career in Saskatchewan and Ontario and had been living in Orangeville, Ont., in August 2003 when she went to visit family in Mumbai.
There had been a rift among her siblings over a multi-million-dollar inheritance. Her children say she had hoped to be a peacemaker in the dispute. However, she never returned.
On the morning she was supposed to fly home to Canada, Asha Goel's body was found in her brother's home — in a pool of blood.
In a CBC interview, her daughter Seema Goel described a litany of horrific injuries.
"There were broken teeth, her jaw was broken, she was blinded in both eyes," she said.
"She died of a cerebral brain hemorrhage, so they had struck her in the head until her skull fractured. She had multiple stab wounds, bruising of the kidneys, there was bruising of the spleen."
Indian police accused two of Asha Goel's brothers of being part of a group conspiring to have her killed.
Since then, one of them, Suresh Agrawal, has died. The second, Subhash R. Agrawal, has been granted Canadian citizenship even though officials in this country knew that he was being investigated in India as a murder suspect.
Subhash Agrawal, who now lives in Ottawa, has denied any involvement in his sister's death.
Indian police want him extradited to stand trial, but so far, no action has been taken in Canada, the children say.
Thousands of e-mails
Vancouver businessman Sanjay Goel has been back to India 19 times since his mother was murdered.
Although Asha Goel was a Canadian citizen, officials here call her death an "Indian problem" — a notion her son finds hard to stomach.
"Because when we go to India, their questions are: Where's your government? Why aren't they involved? Why aren't they interested?" he said.
Goel and his family have been pleading for Ottawa's help ever since his mother was killed. They've written 3,000 emails and buttonholed politicians from the former Liberal government to the current Conservative one.
They've hired private investigators, made dozens of trips to India and set up an online petition for other Canadians to lobby the government.
"We don't want a single innocent person to go to jail — we just want the truth. If we have to face the terrible truth that it's family — so be it, but let's get the truth," said Sanjay Goel.
Waiting for Canada to act
An Ottawa police sergeant confirmed to CBC there's an arrest warrant from Interpol on his desk with Subhash Agrawal's name on it, but he says he can't act on it without approval from the federal Justice Department.
Justice officials say Interpol arrest warrants aren't legal grounds to arrest anyone in Canada and that an arrest in this country is up to police.
Sanjay Goel said he won't give up efforts to get Canada involved in the case.
"I'm the one son and I'm the first-born child. I have to find justice," he said. "I will not rest until that's done."
The Goel children say for now, their hopes are pinned on the Indian court system.
Four people alleged to be involved in a conspiracy to kill Asha Goel are set to go on trial in India next month.