17-yr-old son of ex Indian Army officer critical
The teenager, identified as Chris Singh, underwent surgery at a Fresno hospital for head trauma after he was reportedly shot by his father yesterday. Earlier, doctors had said his injuries were life-threatening, without giving further details.
Avtar Singh, the former Army officer, who was wanted in India for the killing of a prominent Kashmiri human rights activist Jaleel Andrabi in 1996, apparently shot his entire family comprising his wife and three children, before killing himself in Selma in California.
While two children – aged 5 and 15 – and their mother were found dead, along with Singh, the eldest child was in a gravely injured state. Spokeswoman of the Community Regional Medical Center, Mary Lisa Russell said, the boy was in critical condition.
Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims said the elder Singh called Selma police at 6:15 a m on Saturday morning (local time) and told them that he had killed his family and was now going to kill himself.
Authorities have not yet officially released the names of Singh`s wife or the two sons who were killed. According to a report in a local paper Fresnobee, Singh was arrested in February last year after his wife accused him of trying to choke her.
The people in the community where Singh and his family lived were shocked with the incidents.
"Our community is completely shocked… It`s a misfortune, especially for the children who died," said Rajbir Singh Pannu, president of the town`s Sikh temple.
47-year-old Singh had fled to the United States after he was accused of killing Andrabi, whose body was found floating in the Jhelum River in March 1996. Andrabi, 42, was allegedly detained by a unit of Rashtriya Rifles led by Major Singh and his body was found a day later.
Alli Adan, a driver for a trucking company that Singh owned and operated, said he was shocked to hear of the alleged murder-suicide. "I couldn`t believe it," Adan said, "because I didn`t think he could do something like this."
Adan said Singh recently talked about being stressed over financial problems related to his company, Jay Truck Lines in Selma. But Adan said he spent time with Singh this past week, including Friday night, and Singh acted normally.