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Canadian charged with killing doctor over family fortune

 

Charges have been laid against an Ottawa businessman for the killing of his sister two years ago in India, a murder that triggered more than 13,000 petitions from across the world that urged the Canadian government to help solve the case.

 

Subhash Agrawal, 55, and five others, including a deceased brother, were accused with the murder of their sister, Canadian doctor Asha Goel while she was visiting their hometown of Mumbai.

The victim’s Vancouver-based son Sanjay Goel told The Asian Pacific Post:

 

"The Canadian government must now need to cooperate so that the perpetrators of the crime are finally brought to justice."

 

"It is the responsibility of Canada to ensure justice for a citizen of Canada who was the victim of a crime planned in Canada," Sanjay Goel said, echoing police accusations that his his Ottawa-based uncle Agrawal, masterminded his mother’s murder.

 

Dr. Asha GoelDr. Goel, 62, was chief obstetrician at the Headwaters Health Centre in Orangeville, Ontario.

 

An obstetrician and gynaecologist of 40 years who also practiced in Saskatchewan, she delivered more than 10,000 babies in Canada. Her murder came in the midst of a bitter dispute over a $5 million family inheritance that has pitted her and another brother against Agrawal and elder Suresh Agrawal who died weeks after she was killed in 2003.

 

Indian media earlier quoted police as having said that she "got wind of a conspiracy by her brother, Suresh, to usurp their ancestral properties in Mumbai.

 

"What angered Asha was Suresh’s plan to share 50 percent of the properties with a brother Subhash, who lives in Canada, but deny a share to another brother Shekhar, who lives in the United States.

 

"Asha (Goel) had initially not shown any interest in the Mumbai properties, but on learning that Shekhar was being sidelined, had fought with Suresh. She was determined not to let Suresh and Subhash take over the properties if they were doing Shekhar out of his share,’’ media quoted police.

 

The Asian Pacific Post sought Agrawal for comment but his wife said he is under sedation following a recent psychiatric treatment. "Somebody is framing him. There is not a whisper of evidence against my husband," Agrawal’s wife said over phone. The suspect’s wife also said that "somebody was paying police in India’’ to implicate her husband but she did not say who, except to claim that "there is a conspiracy." She said that her husband has been under a lot of stress and he was recently confined in a hospital for psychiatric treatment for 10 ys.

 

The Mumbai-based Daily News & Analysis newspaper reported that the charge sheet "made a clear mention of the investigating agency’s suspicion about Subhash Agarwal’s `involvement’ in the murder." Investigations also revealed that Subhash - a Canada based businessman - paid a sum of Rs 21 lakh to Anand Agarwal on September 19, 2003," the Mumbai newspaper also reported. The payment of Rs 21 lakh (C$56,000) came less than a month after Dr. Goel was found murdered in Suresh’s house on August 23, 2003. The recipient of the money Anand Agarwal has not been not included in the charge sheet.

 

Sanjay Goel said that a warrant of arrest and a request for extradition from Canada are expected to be issued soon by authorities in India. "It’s now up to the Canadian government to help move along this case," he said.

 

The Goel family had set up a website (www.ashagoel.ca) to gather support for the case.

At least 13,000 people from across North America, Europe and Africa have signed a petition urging the Canadian government to ensure that all avenues of investigation are pursued, and to "compel the Indian Government to commit the necessary resources to solve this case."