Cops’ case review makes no sense to Vancouver man whose mother was murdered in India

Published: April 24, 2013
Sanjay Goel

Vancouver businessman Sanjay Goel contends that ‘the planning and ordering of’ the murder of his mother occurred in Canada, and thus can’t fathom why police in Ottawa chose not to pursue charges in the case. Sam Leung/PNG files

LARISSA CAHUTE
VANCOUVER DESI

After a nearly seven-month review, Ottawa police announced Tuesday that they “properly” investigated the murder of a Canadian citizen found stabbed, bludgeoned and smothered in her brother’s Indian apartment nearly 10 years ago.

But to Dr. Asha Goel’s grieving son, this “simply makes no sense.”

“I’m flabbergasted — I’m shocked and dismayed,” said Vancouver businessman Sanjay Goel, who’s been back and forth to India more than 50 times since his mother’s death. “I can’t imagine how they have come to that conclusion.”

Goel’s mom, chief obstetrician at the Headwaters Health Centre in Orangeville, Ont., travelled to Mumbai to visit her sick brother, Suresh Agrawal, in 2003. Indian investigators alleged Suresh conspired with his brother in Ottawa, Subhash Agrawal, to kill their 62-year-old sister over a disputed inheritance worth $12 million. Suresh has since died, but Subhash — a Canadian citizen — remains at large in Ottawa.

In an October 2012 interview with the CBC, a former Ottawa police officer said his superiors instructed him not to conduct an official probe in 2003, which pushed Ottawa police to reopen their case for review on Oct. 19, 2012.

“The review found that this matter was handled properly by the Ottawa Police Service,” Ottawa police said in Tuesday’s news release. “(It) found that at no time was there a decision made to cease involvement in this case.”

Furthermore, the release states the crime should only be investigated by Indian police.

“The crime occurred in India and the majority of the witnesses and evidence rests in that country,” the statement reads. “Therefore, it would be inappropriate … to pursue charges in Canada.”

But this won’t suffice for Goel.

“It’s not possible for it to be an Indian crime,” he said. “It happened here in Canada. While the actual crime of murder happened in India, the planning and the ordering of it — according to Indian police and their public documents, the charge sheet — happened in Canada.”

And according to Goel, further developments have been made in the Indian probe — Goel’s been told Subhash has received a visa and will be travelling to India to appear in court by the end of the month.

“All of this has happened and the Ottawa police can’t even open a file?” he said.

lcahute@theprovince.com
twitter.com/larissacahute

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