Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Murderer Major Avtar Singh's passport questioned

Online edition of India’s National Newspaper

Tuesday, Mar 16, 2010

JAMMU: A Srinagar court on Monday asked the government as to how was a passport issued to Major Avtar Singh, the main accused in the murder of prominent human rights lawyer Jalil Andrabi. The Crime Branch told the court that the process of his extradition had already been taken up with concerned authorities in Delhi.

The case came up for hearing before Chief Judicial Magistrate, Srinagar, Mohammad Ibrahim Wani, who directed the prosecution to explain their stand on re-investigation by March 22. The CJM also directed the prosecution to explain as to how and who provided a passport to the accused and asked it to consult his relatives in Srinagar to seek his whereabouts.

Mr. Andrabi’s brother Arshad Andrabi, who pleaded the case, told the court about the accused Major’s in-laws living in Srinagar. The family of the slain lawyer had on November 19, 2009 submitted an application before the CJM asking for re-investigation of the case, claiming that Major Avtar was not the only accused in the case. The family claimed there were four more persons who accompanied him when Jaleel Andrabi was killed in custody in 1996.

“It was the duty of this court to get into the matter that how the passport was issued to the accused and who facilitated his travel aboard. But the court has so for done nothing in that direction. This court could have called the travel records of the accused on the passport issued as all the online travel records are available with the immigration authorities of the country,” said Mr Arshad.

“The prosecution should explain its stand about the re-investigation of the case. Major Avtar’s relatives should be grilled to reveal his whereabouts. Major Avtar Singh’s sister, who lives in London, has been calling some Valley-based human rights activists,” he claimed. The prosecution sought more time to file objections into the matter and to explain its stand about the re-investigation of the case.

The Inspector-General of Police, Crime, also submitted his report on the status of extradition and Interpol warrant process as asked by the CJM during the last few hearings.

“In compliance to the orders, the requisite documents were obtained from the concerned agencies and the same have been forwarded to Assistant Director, National Control Bureau (NCB), New Delhi, for onward submission to authorities of Interpol in India,” said the IGP adding that “the finger Prints of the accused are not available with the investigation agency in Jammu and Kashmir, as was sought by the Interpol.”

In December 2009, United States Interpol-National Central Bureau, Washington, while confirming the presence of the accused in California, had sought “formal request for his provisional arrest and ex-tradition.”

Major Avtar is accused of kidnapping and later killing human rights activist Jaleel Andrabi in 1996. A red-corner notice through Interpol stands already issued against him.

[Via http://soskashmir.wordpress.com]

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