A man who was acquitted 1985 terrorist attack on Air India who killed 329 people, was shot dead outside of Vancouver, Canada, on Thursday morning, a report said.
Ripudaman Singh Malik was killed while sitting in his car outside a business center in Surrey. corresponding The Toronto Star.
Malik, 75, and Ajaib Singh Bagri were acquitted of mass murder and conspiracy charges in 2005 after being blamed for the plane explosion near Ireland that killed 280 Canadians and for a bombing at an airport in Ireland Tokyo, which killed two baggage handlers, the newspaper said.
They were arrested in 2000 for the massacre and accused of attacking India’s national airline in retaliation for the government’s deadly raid on a sacred Sikh spiritual site. Malik and Bagri were released after key prosecution witnesses were deemed unreliable, the outlet said.
It was reportedly unclear if Malik’s “targeted” murder was related to the atrocities it was linked to.
According to the outlet, a suspect’s car was found ablaze nearby at 9:30 a.m. shortly after the shooting.
“The investigation is still in its early stages and police are still searching for the suspect and a second vehicle that may have been used as a getaway vehicle,” the Royal Canadian Mounted Police reportedly said.
A car wash worker who heard the ambush ran outside to find Malik injured, according to The Canadian Press.
“There were three shots. A punch in the neck, that’s it. And I just took it out. He was alive,” said the man.
“It’s shocking,” his longtime friend Asaf Gill told the newspaper. “He was acquitted for some reason. Who is anyone else to take up the law?”
Malik, a multimillionaire businessman, immigrated to Canada from India in 1972 and became an influential member of British Columbia’s separatist Sikh movement. corresponding The National Post.
After working as a taxi driver, Malik started a credit union and private school for parishioners and is remembered for his beliefs, his son said on Facebook.
“The media will always refer to him as someone charged with the Air India bombing. He was wrongly accused, Jaspreet Singh Malik wrote. “The media and RCMP never seemed to accept the court’s decision and I pray that today’s tragedy is unrelated.”
Another suspect, Inderjit Singh Reyat, was reportedly convicted and served 30 years in prison for helping build the bombs used in the terrorist attack. Alleged ringleader Talwinder Singh Parmar was killed by police in 1992.