California Domestic Violence Case Can Help End Impunity in Kashmir

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This is part of a series of articles on Kashmir for Amnesty International’s Security and Human Rights Campaign.

You can take action to end impunity for human rights violations in Kashmir by taking action.

Major Avtar Singh, a retired officer in the Indian Army and an indicted human rights violator, was arrested in February 2011 on domestic violence charges in an agricultural region of California. While he should definitely face charges in California on domestic violence charges, he must also be extradited to India to face murder charges for the killing of a human rights lawyer in 1996.

The story starts in 1996 during the height of the violence that wracked the disputed Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. Many human rights organizations, civil society groups and human rights defenders faced threats from anti-India militants and Indian security forces.

One of those of brave human rights defenders, Jalil Andrabi, paid with his life. Andrabi was a prominent defender of human rights in the Kashmir Valley, exposing a number of human rights violations committed by Indian security forces. He was last seen on March 8, 1996, when he was taken away by Srinagar based military personnel who were led at that time by Major Avtar Singh. Nineteen days later, Jalil Andrabi’s dead body was found in the Jhelum River.

Those responsible for the death of Jalil Andrabi have remained free for years, despite persistent efforts by his family and members of the Jammu and Kashmir Bar Association to obtain legal redress for his death.

As you know, we have released a report on administrative detentions in Kashmir and visited the region as part of the release. So, we had a chance to speak Jalil Andrabi’s brother and lawyer, Arshad Andrabi. He blamed the Indian authorities for failing to ensure that Major Singh stood trial even after he was named as accused by a special investigation team set up on the orders of the Jammu and Kashmir high court a year after the murder. According to Arshad Andrabi, evidence exists which suggests that at least five others were present in the room at the time of Jalil’s death, but none of them were ever charged with any offence.

Arshad Andrabi accused the Indian authorities of trying to avoid a trial. The Jammu and Kashmir high court had noted that the central government officials had not been cooperating with the special investigation team in a proper manner, and the Indian army has also failed to take any action, merely stating that Major Singh was untraceable. Singh left India for Canada before moving to the United States.

Well, Government of India, he’s been found and it’s time to stop abdicating your responsibilities in this matter. Seek the extradition of Major Avtar Singh and prosecute him for the cold-blooded murder of Jalil Andrabi. You can help by taking action and writing the Indian Embassy on this matter.

For more on human rights in South Asia, please follow me on Twitter: http://twitter.com/acharya_dude.

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17 thoughts on “California Domestic Violence Case Can Help End Impunity in Kashmir

  1. For years justice has eluded the victims of indian army brutalities in kashmir .BETTER late than never .INTErnational community should come forward & press india to punish those guilty of massive human rights violations in kashmir (confirmed by Red cross & Amnesty ) .

  2. Extradition of Maj. Singh should be brought to limelight, otherwise it'll be another "Never born; Never died"-case.

  3. Major Singh wil only be too happy to be extradited to india – the system will ensure he goes scot free ,like every other armymanf . The best option would be to file a case in the US

  4. Major Singh will only be too happy to be extradited to india – the system will ensure he goes scot free ,like every other armyman . The best option would be to file a case in the US

  5. For years justice has eluded the victims of indian army brutalities in kashmir .BETTER late than never .INTErnational community should come forward & press india to punish those guilty of massive human rights violations in kashmir (confirmed by Red cross & Amnesty ) .

  6. Extradition of Maj. Singh should be brought to limelight, otherwise it’ll be another “Never born; Never died”-case.

  7. Major Singh wil only be too happy to be extradited to india – the system will ensure he goes scot free ,like every other armymanf . The best option would be to file a case in the US

  8. Major Singh will only be too happy to be extradited to india – the system will ensure he goes scot free ,like every other armyman . The best option would be to file a case in the US

  9. Any suggestions on how India could solve the issue without dividing a wonderful country / nation ?

    Any suggestions on how Kashmiri fighters could solve the issue with India other than division?

  10. Any suggestions on how India could solve the issue without dividing a wonderful country / nation ?

    Any suggestions on how Kashmiri fighters could solve the issue with India other than division?

  11. Well, Violence in which domastic state in USA will help stop the violence carried out by the USA in Libya and other middle eastern countries ??

  12. Well, Violence in which domastic state in USA will help stop the violence carried out by the USA in Libya and other middle eastern countries ??

  13. Violence against women is a growing issue worldwide. There are some excellent organizations working to help young women in need. Vista Maria, for example, is a leading crusader to curtail violence against women. They are an excellent resource and can be very helpful for young women dealing with these issues.

  14. Violence against women is a growing issue worldwide. There are some excellent organizations working to help young women in need. Vista Maria, for example, is a leading crusader to curtail violence against women. They are an excellent resource and can be very helpful for young women dealing with these issues.

  15. Violence against women is a growing issue worldwide. There are some excellent organizations working to help young women in need. Vista Maria, for example, is a leading crusader to curtail violence against women. They are an excellent resource and can be very helpful for young women dealing with these issues.

  16. Violence against women is a growing issue worldwide. There are some excellent organizations working to help young women in need. Vista Maria, for example, is a leading crusader to curtail violence against women. They are an excellent resource and can be very helpful for young women dealing with these issues.