1985 Air India bombing suspect shot dead in Canada

Canada-based Sikh leader and businessman Ripudaman Singh Malik, who was acquitted in 1985 Air India Kanishka bombing by Canadian judiciary in 2005, was shot dead by a group of three unidentified assailants outside his Surrey office on Thursday morning, said police.

Malik was shot dead around 10am local time when he was going towards his office in a car. The assailants, who came in a Range Rover SUV, fired at Malik from a point-blank range, said the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). The assailants fled in the SUV and set it on fire after driving it for about a kilometre to eliminate evidence, said the police.

Malik had interests in real estate and was running number of Khalsa schools in Canada. He also remained the head of terrorist outfit Babbar Khalsa.

The hunt for the assailants was on but the local police was still to get any breakthrough, according to Canadian media reports.

Malik, a native of Punjab, migrated to Canada in 1972 and started earning his livelihood as a cab driver. Presently, he was heading a finance company, Khalsa Credit Union.

In January, Malik had written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi praising various initiatives undertaken by the Indian government for Sikhs. These included reopening of 1984 anti-Sikh riots cases, opening of Kartarpur Corridor; grant of FCRA licence for Golden Temple and more.

“I am deeply saddened at the death of Ripudaman Singh Malik,” said Shiromani Akali Dal (Delhi) president Paramjit Singh Sarna, demanding thorough probe into the matter.