Ripudaman Singh Malik, who was acquitted in the 1985 Air India bombing case, was shot dead in Surrey in Canada’s British Columbia on Thursday morning, Canadian news outlets reported.
CBC News cited witness accounts to report that three shots were heard and Malik was hit in the neck. Media reports quoted the local police as confirming that shots were fired at around 9.30 am local time and that a man succumbed to injuries at the scene. They said it appeared to be a targeted shooting.
Malik, Inderjeet Singh Reyat and Ajaib Singh Bagri were among three main accused in the blast onboard Air India Flight 182, Emperor Kanishka, a Boeing 747 aircraft that was on its way to Delhi from Montreal on June 23, 1985, killing all 329 on board, Indian Express reported.
Malik and Bagri were charged with 329 counts of first-degree murder but were acquitted after Reyat, who was made a prosecution witness, said he could not remember details of the plot or the names of those involved.
Early this year, before the Punjab elections in February, Malik had written a letter to Modi, thanking him for the steps taken for the ‘welfare of the Sikhs’.
Listing the various initiatives by the BJP, including the reopening of the 1984 ‘riots’ cases, he had warned against an orchestrated attempt to defame the Indian Prime Minister.
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