‘Avatar Singh’s death has not brought closure to Andrabi case’

SRINAGAR, June 12:
The death of Major Avtar Singh, accused in the murder of Kashmiri Human rights activist Jaleel Andrabi, has not brought a closure for the victim’s family who have vowed to continue their struggle for justice.
“Jaleel’s murder case is not over yet…There are other accused personnel in the case and ending the case here would mean injustice,” Andrabi’s wife Riffat said.
She said her family will continue the fight for justice and dig deeper into the case for unravelling the truth.
Andrabi was allegedly murdered by Singh and some other Army personnel in March 1996. A chargesheet was filed against the accused persons following intervention of the High Court in 1998.
Singh was declared an absconder by the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate Srinagar in the Jaleel Andrabi murder case and the Ministry of External Affairs was asked to initiate extradition proceedings after he surfaced in the United States last year.
The former Army officer, who was found involved in seven other extra-judicial killings by a special investigation team constituted by the High Court in 1998, shot dead his wife and two children before committing suicide in California.
“The way (Maj Avtar) killed himself and his family shows how brutal the man was,” Riffat said adding the incident has not made her happy.
“We would have preferred he along with other accused face the law and confess to the crimes they had committed,” she added.
Jaleel’s advocate brother, Arshad Andrabi—who has been following the case in various courts for the last several years—said Singh’s arrest in time would have saved innocent lives of his family members.
He said the court orders from time to time in the case were not complied with by the government and the law enforcing agencies acted in dilatory way to carry out investigation.
Advocate Mir Hafeezullah, the counsel for the Andrabi family, said the case had dragged on for several years without any headway as the main accused was evading the justice system. “So far, 15 judges have heard the case since the chargesheet was filed. Three of them have retired while nine have been promoted…The prosecutors in the case have also risen through the ranks but there has been no end to the delay in delivery of justice,” Hafeezullah said. (PTI)