Local

Selma Murder-Suicide; the background of Avtar Singh

Saturday, June 09, 2012

Selma Police responded to a domestic violence call at Avtar Singh's home in February of 2011. During that time, detectives uncovered that Singh was also wanted for murder in his home country of India.

Before settling down in a Selma neighborhood, Avtar Singh served as an Army captain in India. "He had military experience, we knew that he had experience that may be dangerous to law enforcement, and that's why we responded the way we have this morning with our SWAT team," said Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims.

Singh's controversial military past followed him to the United States. Indian investigators pointed to Singh as master-minding the death of human rights activist Jalil Andrabi in 1996.

Singh's cover was blown with Selma Police arrested him for domestic violence last year. Day later, an Action News team knocked on Singh's door.

Action News: "Are you the same Avtar Singh who is wanted in Kashmir for the murder of Jalil Andrabi?"

Singh: "It's alleged"

Fingerprints revealed his identity as an international murder suspect. "The murder warrant had been issued, however, his telling of the events is that... he did kill people, however it was part of a military action," said Mims.

Singh claims he was a scapegoat. Because of the allegations, he claims he was wanted -- not just by the Indian Government, but by al-Qaeda. "If I'm exposed on this, the Islamic militants, they're already looking for me," said Singh.

Authorities could not hold Singh in 2011 because international officers in India had not taken the steps to extradite him.

Now a Selma neighborhood is in shock, wondering what could push a man to kill his own family.

One of Singh friends, who talked to him yesterday, says he was worried about financial matters -- specifically regarding his trucking company. This friend said he had more than $300,000 in debt.

(Copyright ©2014 KFSN-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

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Tags:
selma, fresno county, murder, murder-suicide, al-qaida, india, local, carlos saucedo
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