Sikh man, acquitted in 1985 Air India bombings, shot dead in Canada

Toronto, July 16 (KMS): Ripudaman Singh Malik, a 75-year-old Sikh man acquitted in the 1985 Air India bombing case was killed by unidentified persons in Canada.

Ripudaman Singh Malik was shot dead in Surrey, British Columbia on Thursday. Ripudaman and co-accused Ajaib Singh Bagri were acquitted in 2005 of mass murder and conspiracy charges related to the two bombings in 1985 that killed 331 people, a media report said.

The report cited a witness who said he “heard three shots and pulled Malik from his red Tesla bleeding from a neck wound.”

Another media report said that while police had not initially released the victim’s identity, it confirmed it after Malik’s son, Jaspreet Malik, posted a statement on social media about his father’s shooting.

“The media will always refer to him as someone charged with the Air India bombing,” Malik’s son wrote on Facebook. He said that his father had been “wrongly charged” in the case and the court concluded that “there was no evidence against him”.

The Canadian police said they are working to determine the motive behind the targeted killing of Ripudaman Singh Malik.

On June 23, 1985, the Air India flight 182, carrying 329 people, including 268 Canadian citizens and 24 Indian citizens, flew from Toronto and stopped in Montreal from where it was en route to London and then onwards to its final destination Bombay. The plane was flying 31,000 feet above the Atlantic Ocean when a suitcase bomb exploded in the front cargo, killing all on board.

Another bomb was meant to be planted in an Air India flight scheduled to take off from Japan but it exploded at Tokyo’s Narita airport killing two baggage handlers.

Inderjit Singh Reyat was convicted on various charges and spent 30 years in prison for helping to make the bombs, and for lying during trials, including Ripudaman Singh Malik’s. He was released in 2016 after serving two-thirds of his perjury sentence. He was the only person convicted for the bombing.

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