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Jun 11, 2012, 01.56 PM IST
USA-INDIA-SHOOTING:Ex-Indian army officer kills family, self in California
By Karen Brooks
(Reuters) - A former Indian army officer wanted for murder in India apparently shot and killed his wife and two of his children at his California home before committing suicide, police said on Sunday.
Avtar Singh, a former Indian army major who was wanted in the 1996 killing of a human rights activist, called police early Saturday and told them he had just killed four people and was about to kill himself, Lieutenant Gregg Andreotti of the Fresno County Sheriff's Office said.
A 17-year-old boy was the only survivor of the shootings at the Singh home in Selma, California. He was on life support at a nearby hospital, Andreotti said.
The two children killed were boys ages 3 and 15. All the victims were shot in the head, he said.
Andreotti said the police were treating it as a murder-suicide and there were no other suspects.
Singh owned a trucking company in the central California city, according to local media reports.
Selma officers were aware of Singh previously because he had been arrested last year on a domestic violence charge and because there was a murder warrant out on him in connection with the 1996 death of Kashmiri human rights activist Jaleel Andrabi.
Singh fled India after the killing, which sparked protests in the disputed region. Last year, the Indian government sought his extradition after the domestic violence arrest but had not succeeded in bringing him home to stand trial.
At the time of his death, Andrabi was a pro-independence political activist associated with the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front, a nationalist organization that supports the independence of Kashmir from both India and Pakistan.
Singh had been accused of detaining him in 1996 and killing him in custody.
Nearly 50,000 people have been killed in Kashmir since a revolt against New Delhi's rule broke out in 1989.
Kashmir, claimed by both Pakistan and India, has been the trigger for two of the three wars between the nuclear-armed rivals.
(Editing by Daniel Trotta and Eric Beech)
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