ExIndian army major takes flight kills family

first_imgThe Associated PressSELMA, Calif. (AP) – At 6:15 a.m. last Saturday, Avtar Singh dialed 911 from his home in the Central Valley farming town 200 miles north of Los Angeles. He told police he had just killed four people and was about to kill himself. Then the line disconnected.Selma police found Singh, 47, dead in his living room. His 36-year-old wife and three-year-old son were dead in a bed in the master bedroom. His 17-year-old son lay dead in his bedroom. A third son, 15 years old, was barely alive in another room and later died. All had been shot in the head. In 2011, he was arrested after his wife said he choked her, and police discovered Singh was a former Indian Army major who was wanted for the 1996 killing of Jalil Andrabi, a lawyer and prominent human rights advocate in the disputed Himalayan region of Indian-controlled Kashmir.Singh was posted to Kashmir in the 1990s, at the height of protests in the region, where rebel groups were fighting Indian security forces for independence or a merger with Pakistan.Andrabi was abducted in 1996, just before he was to leave for Geneva to address a United Nations session about human rights violations by Indian forces in Kashmir.He was picked up by Indian troops, tortured, and killed, according to a police investigation. His body was recovered in a river _ shot in the head with eyes gouged out.Singh was charged with Andrabi’s killing. The probe also accused him of involvement in six other deaths.Despite the charges, Singh was posted by the army to another region in India. A judge directed the Indian government to confiscate Singh’s passport and not issue another one, but Singh fled India for Canada in 2003.The Singhs lived in Canada with family relatives for two years and applied for asylum, but their claim was denied, according to Singh’s U.S. asylum documents provided to The Associated Press by his immigration consultant. New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Community members in Fresno said Singh did not hide that he was an Indian army major _ but he omitted the salient detail that he was wanted for murder in his homeland.“We don’t go anywhere. We don’t have outings or a happy life. We are fearful,” Singh’s wife told a social worker in March in preparing for an asylum claim.Singh, working as a truck driver in 2007, was detained by immigration agents in Iowa. Immigration and Customs Enforcement had received an anonymous letter stating Singh may have committed fraud to obtain legal status in the United States, said ICE spokeswoman Virginia Kice.At the time, Kice said, ICE did not know about Singh’s murder charges in India. While he was placed in removal proceedings, Singh was released on a $4,000 bond.Two years later, India requested that Interpol issue a so-called “red notice” that Singh was wanted in India.When Singh resurfaced in Selma in the domestic violence case in 2011, Interpol in Washington passed the message of Singh’s whereabouts to Interpol in India, said agency spokeswoman LaTonya Miller.Interpol Washington officials said the U.S. does not consider an Interpol notice alone to be a sufficient basis for the arrest and detention of a person. Patients with chronic pain give advice Top Stories Comments   Share   Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates Sponsored Stories (Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)last_img

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