Man acquitted in Air India bombings names the conspirators

By Gurmukh Singh, IANS

Toronto : Ripudaman Singh Malik, acquitted in 2005 in the 1985 Air India bombing case, has now named Inderjit Singh Reyat and Talwinder Singh Parmar as conspirators of the plot that killed 331 people.

Support TwoCircles

Malik claimed the police had prior knowledge of the plot to blow up the two planes, but failed to stop it because of their “negligence”. He named Reyat and Parmar as the plot conspirators.

Reyat is in jail for his role in making the bombs that killed 329 aboard Kaniskha flight 182 and two baggage handlers at Tokyo airport on June 23, 1985.

Punjab police killed Parmar in an encounter in 1992 after he fled Canada. Malik had earlier admitted to being their financial backers.

Malik has also blamed the then British Colombia premier Ujjal Dosanjh for framing him in the case in October 2000.

In his counter-suit to the government of British Columbia’s suit seeking $6 million from him as costs of his legal defence during the trial, which ended in his acquittal in March 2005, he claimed that he was arrested “with ulterior motives, including the political gain of its then premier Ujjal Dosanjh”.

Reyat and Parmar have been named in the counter-suit.

In his petition, Malik said: “It was the high-handed and arrogant conduct of the plaintiff, actuated by the political ambitions, greed, malice and negligence of the plaintiff and of its former attorney general and late premier Ujjal Dosanjh, and the plaintiff and their desire to seek vengeance against him for his religious views and for improper purpose and states it is he who should be compensated by way of aggravated, punitive and/or exemplary damages as against the plaintiff.”

He added: “There was simply no evidence tending to point to any role that I may have played in the conspiracy to cause explosions to the Air India planes.”

His counter-suit claimed that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) erased evidence which “they knew completely exonerated” him.

Despite signing an agreement in 2003 to pay his legal expenses, Malik said he never made any commitment.

The court documents said: “At all material times, it was Ripudaman’s understanding and belief that upon his acquittal from the charges, he would owe nothing.”

Calling himself a man of God, Malik said he suffered great “mental anguish and physical pain during the over four years that he was imprisoned for a wrong that he did not commit…sustained financial losses caused by his inability to direct his corporations”.

Malik, along with Ajaib singh Bagri, was arrested in October 2000 and freed on his acquittal in March 2005 after what was the costliest case in Canadian legal history.