In western Canada, a suspect in the 1985 Air India bombings that killed 331 people was shot dead on Thursday in what local media described as a deliberate attack.
According to reports, Ripudaman Singh Malik was shot outside his clothing store in the Vancouver, British Columbia, area. Ripudaman Singh Malik was a former supporter of the Sikh separatist Khalistan movement and was exonerated in the Air India mass murder conspiracy in 2005 due to a lack of evidence.
In a statement, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police claimed a male was found “suffering from gunshot wounds” and had “succumbed to his injuries (at the) site.” They would not release the victim’s name, though.
Constable Sarbjit Sangha stated, “This appears to be a targeted shooting,” and added that a vehicle thought to be driven by the gunmen was found nearby, “completely engulfed in fire.”
The gunmen probably escaped in another getaway car, which police are still looking for, after starting the fire, she said.
Prior to the September 11 attacks in the United States, the bombing of Air India Flight 182 off the coast of Ireland, which killed all 329 of the passengers and crew, was the deadliest act of airborne terrorism.
It happened at the same time as another bomb went off at the Narita airport in Japan, killing two people who were helping load luggage onto an Air India flight.
Later, both suitcase bombs were linked to Vancouver, which has a sizable Sikh immigrant community.
Only Inderjit Singh Reyat, who made the bombs and lied during the trials of other terrorists, including Malik, has been found guilty of participating in the scheme.
In 2005, Malik and Ajaib Singh Bagri were found not guilty, a decision that the prosecution claimed would have been reversed if Reyat had been truthful when testifying.
Reyat served 20 years in prison before being released on parole in 2016.
Attackers reportedly wanted vengeance for Indian troops assaulting the Golden Temple in Amritsar amid a crackdown on Sikhs agitating for an independent nation at the time of the attack.