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DR. ASHA GOEL’S 2003 MURDER: FAMILY STILL AWAITS JUSTICE AS INDIAN POLICE BLAMES CANADA FOR NOT COOPERATING

 

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Back in August 2003, Sanjay Goel appealed to the Canadian government to put pressure on the Indian government to ensure that they did a professional job in hunting for the killer(s) of his mother Dr. Asha Goel, 62, chief of obstetrics at an Ontario hospital. She was found in a pool of blood at her brother's house in Mumbai on August 23, 2003.

A Mumbai newspaper said at the time that police suspected robbery was the motive because a gold ring and about $3,000 in cash were missing. She was visiting her brother, who had started kidney dialysis, and his wife, who had suffered a stroke. Sanjay felt that the city police were too busy dealing with the bombings in that city that killed 46 and injured 150 to pay proper attention to her murder and that evidence had been lost because of poor handling.

A Foreign Affairs spokesperson in Ottawa said at the time that the government was "responding appropriately." The victim's husband was a surgeon at the same Ontario hospital where she worked.

 

Today, another picture of the murder has emerged and Indian authorities told CBC News that it is the Canadian government’s lack of cooperation that has stalled their investigation because one of the suspects they want to question is the victim’s brother Subhash Agrawal, 63, a businessman who lives in Ottawa, and for whom they issued an arrest warrant in 2006.

Mumbai Police Assistant Commissioner Jaywant Hargude told CBC that Agrawal is wanted “for murder and conspiracy of murder.”

CBC reported that Agrawal has appealed the arrest warrant in an Indian court and that he has not been formally charged.

A spokeswoman with the Canadian Department of Justice told CBC: "We are aware of the murder of Dr. Goel and are prepared to assist India in any way that we can."

CBC reported that Subhash Agrawal in a statement told them: "I have never had anything to do with the death of my sister, Dr. Asha Goel, whom I loved dearly. Others stood to gain enormously from her death, both financially and otherwise. I had absolutely no financial gain which should flow as a consequence of her murder."

 

But Mumbai police claim they have evidence to show Agrawal’s involvement.

According to CBC, “Asha Goel’s husband, Sadan Goel, says she was the peacemaker in the family but was upset that two of her brothers — Suresh and Subhash Agrawal — had decided to split their late father’s multi-million dollar inheritance amongst themselves, leaving the youngest brother with nothing.”

Asha Goel tried to resolve the issue and it’s believed that her death resulted from that.

Police at first thought that robbery was the motive for the murder.

Hargude told CBC:  “[The] ultimate motive behind this murder was a property dispute, and we have come to this conclusion.”

Mumbai police charged one of the Agrawal brothers’ employees with murder. In 2005, Pawankumar Goenka, Manohar Shinde and Narendra Goel — Suresh Agrawal's son-in-law —were charged with murder. Police also implicated the victim's brother Suresh in planning her killing, but he died of natural causes a month after the homicide, the CBC reported.

Subhash Agrawal refused to be questioned by Mumbai police and an arrest warrant was issued for him in August 2006.

Hargude told CBC that there were calls between Subhash Agrawal, his brother Suresh, and the servants implicated. He claimed that there were money transfers. Also, Subhash Agrawal is paying for the legal costs of the men accused of killing his sister.

Although Mumbai police asked the Canadian authorities for Agrawal’s phone and bank records in Ottawa back in 2006, they have provided no information, Hargude told CBC.

 

On Thursday, CBC reported that Ken Doyle, a former Ottawa Police homicide investigator, says he was told years ago not to investigate the murder, although he believes there’s enough evidence to justify Agrawal’s extradition.

But Agrawal, who runs an Ottawa residence that provides housing for university students, told CBC: "These allegations, made by other family members, that I should be investigated or charged, are utterly false and without merit, and unsupported by any evidence whatsoever over the past nine years."