Court Asks Prosecution To Testify Major Avtar’s Death

Court Asks Prosecution To Testify Major Avtar’s Death

13 June 2012
Greater Kashmir
D.A. Rashid

Srinagar: A local Court on Wednesday directed the Prosecution to produce records attesting the death of Major Avtar Singh in California (USA) who was accused of killing noted human rights activist Jaleel Andrabi allegedly in custody here in 1996. The court directed the prosecution to produce the record before next date of hearing fixed for June 21. The Court of Chief Judicial Magistrate Srinagar, Rajeev Gupta passed the direction after Deputy Director Prosecution Zulfikar Hussain informed it that news of Major Avtar Singh’s death was carried by print and electronic media. Hussain submitted fresh translated copies of charge-sheet along with documents of witnesses before the court. Counsels for the complainant sought the copies of the translated papers but the court declined to provide the documents saying there was no necessity and requirement of furnishing the copies to the counsels. Brother of Jaleel Andrabi who appeared along with Mir Hafeezullah in today’s proceedings argued that the inordinate delay by the court has deprived the family of the justice and the non-compliance of the court orders by the government was due to the court orders which were not commanding enough. The Police had on March 19 this year submitted before the CJM Srinagar a legible copy of original challan lodged against accused Major Avtar Singh and other accompanying documents. The court had directed prosecution to translate the documents into English to be authenticated by the court. Major Avtar Singh, who was wanted for the Andrabi’s murder reportedly killed himself alongwith his wife and two children in his California home on June 9. The 47-year-old Singh had fled to the United States after he was accused of killing Andrabi, whose body was found floating in the Jhelum River in March 1996. Andrabi, 42, was allegedly detained by a unit of Rashtriya Rifles led by Major Singh and his body was found a day later. A murder case was registered against Avtar Singh and others after the victim’s family pursued the matter in the High Court and alleged that the Government was covering up the murder. The case is, however, pending trial before the court of CJM Srinagar for over a decade. The Court had directed extradition of the accused Major from USA.