Canada: Two Charged For Murder Of Ripudaman Malik, Acquitted In 1985 Air India Bombing

Two men have been arrested and charged with the murder of Ripudaman Singh Malik, a Canadian Sikh businessman who was acquitted in the 1985 Air India bombing that killed 329 people. Malik died of gunshot wounds in Surrey in Canada’s British Columbia province on July 14. The police could initially not establish any motive behind Malik’s killing or find evidence to relate it to the airline attack. However, it had stated that the shooting appeared to be targeted.

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The police have charged 21-year-old Tanner Fox and 23-year-old Jose Lopez with the first-degree murder of Malik, according to the RCMP’s homicide investigation team, reported news agency Reuters. The charges were mentioned in the notice ahead of the news conference.

Malik and co-accused Ajaib Singh Bagri, a sawmill worker in British Columbia, were acquitted in 2005 of charges of bombing the Air India Flight 182, one of history’s deadliest bombings of a commercial airliner.

Both were acquitted of charges connected to the death of two baggage handlers who died of a suitcase bomb explosion, allegedly carried by them to destroy another Air India jet over the Pacific Ocean.

Canadian police were severly criticised for lapse in their investigation. Even the government apologised to families of the victims in 2010 over failure of the authorities to act on information that could have averted the attack or catch those responsible.

Both Canadian and Indian police have accused Sikh extremists living in Canada for the attack as revenge on India for the deadly 1984 assault on the Golden Temple in Amritsar, Sikhism’s holiest shrine.