Linda Thom, who forwarded this one, asks
How did this guy get into the US? Why wasn't he deported? Who, in the government, is going to answer these questions? Nobody, that's who.
By GOSIA WOZNIACKA, AP
11 hours ago
SELMA, Calif. — News of a murder-suicide that left four family members dead raced through a tight-knit Indian community in a small California agricultural town, as police tried to determine why a former Indian army officer opened fire on his family before killing himself.
Authorities said Avtar Singh — wanted for years for murder in his homeland — shot his wife and two children and gravely wounded a third child early Saturday before turning the gun on himself.
"Our community is completely shocked," Rajbir Singh Pannu, president of the town's Sikh temple, said Sunday. "It's a really bad misfortune, especially for the children who died. Anybody who takes somebody's life, in our religion that's cowardice."
The Indian community numbers about 15,500 in Fresno County. That includes 750 in Selma, surrounded by vineyards and peach orchards and known as the "Raisin Capital of the World." The majority of Indians in the area are Punjabi Sikhs, like the family.
It was just more than a year ago that Singh was arrested after his wife said he had choked her.
That set off a process that prompted the Indian government to seek his extradition days later in the 1996 death of a prominent lawyer and human rights activist in Kashmir, a disputed region in the Himalayas.
Singh, who in recent years operated a small trucking business in Selma, was released on bail after last year's arrest. It remained unclear Sunday why he was never extradited.
In India, the lawyer and brother of Jalil Andrabi — the murdered human rights activist — blamed the Indian government, saying Singh's family would still be alive if officials had tried harder to bring him to justice.
"These lives could have been saved if a trial of Maj. Avtar Singh was conducted on time," said Andrabi's brother, Arshad. "We have lost that chance now. He was a known murderer and we are appalled that he was even shielded in the United States. It's a failure of justice at all levels."[More]