The Canadian police have stated that they are still investigating the targeted killing of Ripudaman Singh Malik, a 75-year-old Sikh man acquitted in the 1985 Air India Kanishka terrorist bombing case.
On Thursday, Malik was fatally shot in Surrey, British Columbia. According to CBC News, Malik and co-accused Ajaib Singh Bagri were acquitted in 2005 of mass murder and conspiracy charges related to two bombings in 1985 that killed 331 people.
According to the report, a witness “heard three shots and pulled Malik from his red Tesla bleeding from a neck wound.” Malik was identified as the victim of the shooting by another witness from a nearby business.
According to the Surrey Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), a “A man who was shot at that location around 9:30 a.m. died at the scene. They are not releasing the victim’s name because it appears to be a targeted shooting.” According to the report, police discovered a “suspect vehicle” that was “engulfed in fire.”
According to another Defence Aviation Post report, while police did not initially release the victim’s identity, it was confirmed after Malik’s son, Jaspreet Malik, posted a statement about his father’s shooting on social media.
According to Defence Aviation Post, Malik’s son wrote on Facebook, “The media will always refer to him as someone charged with the Air India bombing.”
“The media and the RCMP never seemed to accept the court’s decision, and I sincerely hope today’s tragedy is unrelated.” The Integrated Homicide Investigation Team stated in a statement, “We are aware of Mr Malik’s background, but at this time we are still working to determine the motive.” We can confirm that the shooting appears to be targeted, and there is no additional risk to the public.” The 1985 Air India bombing was one of the worst terrorist attacks in Canadian and airline history.
On June 23, 1985, Air India Flight 182, carrying 329 people, including 268 Canadian citizens and 24 Indian citizens, took off from Toronto and stopped in Montreal before continuing to London and then Bombay.
The plane was 31,000 feet above the Atlantic when a suitcase bomb exploded in the front cargo, killing everyone on board.
Another bomb was supposed to be planted on an Air India flight leaving Japan, but it exploded at Tokyo’s Narita airport, killing two baggage handlers.
According to the Defence Aviation Post report, the reaction to Malik’s death was mixed. While Malik’s friends said the Sikh community had “lost a hero,” former British Columbia premier Ujjal Dosanjh, a former acquaintance of Malik’s, said he was a controversial figure.
“One of the other complicating factors is that he recently visited India and wrote a letter in support of [Prime Minister] Modi and his policies, which I believe reverberated and had implications within the community,” Dosanjh said in the report.
According to the CBC, Malik had recently served as chairman of Khalsa School and managed two of the private school’s campuses in Surrey and Vancouver. He was also the president of the Khalsa Credit Union (KCU), which has over 16,000 members in Vancouver.
Inderjit Singh Reyat was convicted on multiple charges and sentenced to 30 years in prison for his involvement in the making of the bombs and for lying during trials, including Malik’s. After serving two-thirds of his perjury sentence, he was released in 2016.
Reyat was the only person convicted in the Kanishka bombing, which was blamed on Khalistani extremists seeking vengeance for an Indian army operation to flush out militants at the Golden Temple in 1984.