Atrocities committed by Indian forces during the conflict have rarely if ever been punished. Singh’s was the rare case that made it to court in Kashmir, but he then fled the country. The magistrate put out a warrant over Interpol, and in 2011, Selma police alerted India’s Interpol bureau that they had their man.
But Singh was never extradited. In an age when the reach of international justice is growing, Singh’s case highlights how much influence international relations and national politics can still warp the process.
“It shows the ongoing hurdles that have to be overcome,” says Matt Eisenbrandt, legal director for the Canadian Centre for International Justice. He tried for a time to help locate Singh when he was missing. (Correction: The original article misstated Mr. Eisenbrandt's current affiliation.)
“Just because a perfectly innocent human rights lawyer is murdered doesn’t mean that you always bring the bad guys to account. You still have to deal with politics, both domestically and internationally,” he says.
I first heard about Singh after I became a reporter in Kashmir in 2007. Like many reporters in the disputed region, I wrote about him and the struggle of the families of his victims for elusive justice.
Singh was wanted for the kidnapping and murder of human rights activist Jaleel Andrabi in 1996. Months before his death, Mr. Andrabi had addressed a UN session in Geneva about human rights violations by India in Kashmir.