You may run but you cannot hide!

LONGTIME absconder and Indian Army’s Major Avtar Singh alias “Bulbul” (nightingale), accused of the extrajudicial killing of a noted Kashmiri Human Rights Activist has been arrested in the US and would be handed over to the state police within a fortnight, according to Jammu and Kashmir police.Media reports indicate that former Major Avtar Singh was arrested by the California police quite by chance, after his wife accused him of beating her. “It was the victim (wife) who informed the police in the US that he was also wanted in the murder case of one of the human right activists in Indian Held Kashmir.On March 8, 1996, Major Avtar Singh/Bulbul, of the 35th Rashtriya Rifles unit of the Indian army arrested Jaleel Andrabi, a human right activist near Barazulla on airport road when the renowned freedom fighter was driving home along with his wife. The Jammu and Kashmir Bar Association filed a habeas corpus petition in the Jammu and Kashmir High Court on March 9, and the court ordered the army to produce Andrabi.However, the army denied that Andrabi was in custody. Over the next two weeks, the court continued to grant the government extensions for replying to the petition. The trussed-up body of Jalil Andrabi, the prominent human rights lawyer was found in the Kursuraj Bagh area of Srinagar on the banks of the Jhelum river on the morning of March 27, 1996. Andrabi, who was forty-two, had been shot in the head and his eyes had been gouged out. An autopsy showed that he had been killed just days after his arrest. As a result, the case for murder against the accused officer was pending adjudication in a Srinagar court.Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM) Srinagar, Mohammed Ibrahim Wani on February 6, 2010 issued Interpol Red Corner notice against Major Avtar Singh. The CJM directed the Ministry of Home affairs to forward the arrest warrant to Interpol through its office in New Delhi. The accused army officer, it is now learnt, had been hiding in California, US. The US police have informed the Interpol that they have the renegade criminal in their custody.

In turn, Interpol has communicated the information to the Crime Wing of Jammu and Kashmir police. Raja Ajaz, who is also liaison officer of Interpol in Jammu and Kashmir, said that the accused was in the preventive custody of the US police in California and would be shifted to Srinagar in fifteen days. Meanwhile, Interpol and US police, the arresting agency have requested Jammu and Kashmir police to provide fresh warrants against the accused, which have been acquired from sessions court in Srinagar so that the extradition of the absconding killer Major Bulbul can proceed.The curious case of Major Avtar Singh alias Bulbul shows that crime does not pay. A heinous crime committed by the former Indian Army Major, may have weighed heavily on his mind, because killing another human being in cold blood leaves a bleeding trauma on one’s mind. At least it did leave Major Bulbul’s wife scarred for life. Ultimately, it was her pang of conscience, which prompted her to reveal the depth of Bulbul’s crime to California Police. The case is clear evidence of the age old saying that “you may run but you cannot hide”! – Dailymailnews