Years after being cleared of Canada’s worst terror attack, a former suspect was killed in British Columbia
One of the suspected terrorists who was acquitted of shooting down an Air India flight with a suitcase bomb in 1985, killing 329 people, was shot and killed in Canada in what police say was a targeted murder.
Ripudaman Singh Malik, 75, was shot Thursday morning in Surrey, B.C., and died at the scene, police say. A witness told CBC News in Canada that he heard three gunshots and then pulled Malik out of his red Tesla. The victim was bleeding from a neck wound.
“We are aware of Mr. Malik’s background, although at this time we are still working to determine the motive,” he added. homicide investigators said in a statement. “We can confirm that the shooting appears to be targeted and there is no longer a risk to the public.”
Malik, a Sikh businessman who immigrated to Canada in 1972, was one of the suspects charged with bombing an Air India flight from Toronto that exploded off the coast of Ireland while that he was going to London. The incident marked the deadliest terrorist attack on record in Canada. Another bomb intended for another Air India flight exploded at a Tokyo airport, killing two baggage handlers and bringing the total death toll to 331. More than 80 of the victims were children.
Prosecutors alleged the bombings were carried out by Sikh extremists in British Columbia who targeted state-owned Air India in retaliation for a June 1984 raid on the Golden Temple in Amritsar, Punjab. The raid, believed to have been carried out to flush out separatists, left around 400 dead and enraged Sikhs, who accused the Indian government of desecrating their holiest shrine.
Malik and an alleged accomplice, Ajaib Singh Bagri, were acquitted of mass murder and conspiracy in 2005, after a trial that lasted two years. The only suspect convicted of the Air India attack, Inderjit Singh Reyat, testified against Malik and Bagri and was later convicted of perjury.
Malik’s son, Jaspreet Singh Malik, lamented that the media and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) always viewed his father as an Air India bomber. “He was wrongfully charged and the court found there was no evidence against him,” he added. said young Malik. “The media and the RCMP never seemed to accept the court’s decision, and I pray that today’s tragedy is unrelated.”
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The elder Malik first worked as a taxi driver after moving to Canada. He then ran the Khalsa Credit Union and Khalsa Schools in British Columbia. The latter, which teach the Punjabi language and Sikh history as well as the standard Canadian curriculum, have been criticized for continuing to receive government funding after Malik was arrested as an alleged perpetrator of a Air India bombing in October 2000.
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