Major Avtar Singh


An erstwhile Haryana resident and a Major in the Territorial Army, Avtar Singh was on the run since his role in the brutal murder of human rights lawyer Jalil Andrabi was established in 1996.

Sleuths later found skeletons in his cupboard leading to registration of many cases against him. After reports of the fugitive living in Canada, he was finally traced in Selma, a sleepy town of California in the USA in February 2011 where the local police arrested him in a case of domestic violence.

Now US officials say Singh was living in Selma illegally and was arrested in July 2007 following which he was set free and placed in removal proceedings – which never took place.

Nothing much happened about his extradition to India before the 47 year old killed his wife Sunny, his two sons – Chris (Kawarjit), 17 and three-year-old Jay and finally committing ‘suicide’. One of his sons Aryan (Kunal), 15 survives badly injured and is “barely alive”.

After settling in the USA, Singh set up Jay Truck Line with five trucks that was initially doing well. Off late, however, it started incurring losses. Newspaper reports from US suggest Singh had accumulated debt.

Human Rights activists in Kashmir insist that by permitting Singh to stay abroad, the Government of India has directly aided the murder of his family. In order to get rid of Kashmir baggage, back home, Singh had separated from his first wife, a former resident of Baramulla and a re-married a Delhi lady.

Major Singh who was honored four times by the President of India for his bravery in Assam and J&K remained a continuous embarrassment for the government. Last year, he told media that he would reveal many things if he is extradited to India.  With his death, one of the most sought fugitives in Kashmir is gone for good. But 15 families insist Major Singh’s ‘suicide’ is not the end of their cases, they are fighting. In most of the cases, he is the principal accused and then there are many other co-accused in the army.

Since the courts started haring the case, judges have changed 15 times – three retired and nine were promoted. Andrabi’s family alleges that the court and the prosecution are aware about the co-accused but nobody has been formally booked in the case. The trial court in its last haring has asked for the death certificate of the serial killer.

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