Indian army Major Avtar Singh in California: Interpol

Srinagar, January 01: A letter forwarded by the United States National Central Bureau (USNCB) of Interpol to its office in New Delhi on November 25, 2009 has confirmed that Major Avtar Singh lives in California whose trial is yet to start in Kashmiri prominent human rights activist, Jalil Andrabi’s murder case. The Indian army Major Avtar Sing is involved in the killing of rights activist, Jalil Andrabi 14 years ago.

The USNCB of Interpol has asked the Interpol New Delhi to furnish the record of proceedings translated and certified version of conviction record, charge-sheet and other relevant documents. For the provisional arrest and extradition of Major Singh, the Interpol has also asked for a formal request to be forwarded to the office of USNCB department of international affairs through proper channels.

The letter said that the deportation and extradition proceedings would take place after submission of the translated conviction records and charging documents. It also requested the fingerprints in a proper format presentable to make a positive identification.

The letter read that if extradition, deportation proceedings were initiated Major Singh would be entitled by law to a hearing and the opportunity to post a bond.

Meanwhile, the Chief Judicial Magistrate of Srinagar, Mohammad Ibrahim Wani who had heard the case, directed the Inspector General of Police in Kashmir to forward the requisite documents as sought by the USNCB and head of the Interpol agency in India so that it could forward the same to the office of USNCB Interpol Washington.

He also directed the Special Prosecution Officer (SPO) in the matter to file objections in an application moved by Mir Hafizullah, the counsel for Andrabi on November 21, seeking further investigation in the case. Jaleel's brother Arshad Andrabi in his application filed on November 21 had blamed the prosecution for insincerity to move on in the matter.

Disappeared on March 8, 1996, his body was found nineteen days after his disappearance. In April, 1997, the Special Investigation Team presented its initial findings to the High Court. The SIT said that one Major Avtar Singh from the 103rd Unit of the Territorial Army and other soldiers were responsible for the abduction and killing of Jaleel. The SIT was unable to arrest Major Avtar Singh as they could not find him.  Agencies-KT