Two Charged In Air India Blast

Sat Oct 28, 2000 8:56 pm

From the BBC News Online:

Police in Canada have charged two Sikhs in connection with the 1985 bombing of an Air India plane which killed all 329 people on board.
The two men, both members of Canada's Sikh community, were arrested in the western city of Vancouver, police said.

Ajaib Singh Bagri and Ripudaman Singh Malik were charged with first-degree murder, attempted murder and conspiracy.

One of the men, the president of a small bank in Vancouver, is well known in the Sikh community; the other is a sawmill worker from the Canadian interior.

Millions of pieces of evidence were studied in the investigation

These are the first charges ever laid in the 15-year-old investigation into the bombing, one of the deadliest in aviation history.

The plane was on its way from Toronto to Delhi via London on 23 June, 1985, when it blew up off the coast of the Irish Republic.

Second bomb

The two men have also been charged with a second bomb explosion, which occurred less than an hour later on the same day, on the ground at Tokyo's Narita Airport.

A suitcase due to be loaded on to an Air India plane from a flight from Canada blew up at the airport, killing two baggage handlers.

Rescuers spent days pulling bodies out of waters

The men are charged with attempted murder against passengers of that Air India flight, which was going to Bangkok.

Police had already established a link between the two attacks, which they had put down to Sikh extremists in Canada wanting to avenge the 1984 attack by Indian troops on the Sikh holy shrine, the Golden Temple.

Expensive investigation

The investigation has been one of the longest and most expensive in Canadian history at $15m.

It has also been fraught with difficulties, with bickering between different arms of the investigation team.

Flight recorders were taken to India

Vast amounts of evidence were studied in the investigation - some from the Irish Sea and Japan, some from recordings made by intelligence sources.

Several times in the past 15 years police have said they were on the verge of laying charges.

Members of Canada's large Sikh community have already said they are relieved by Friday's announcement.

Police say more arrests and charges may follow.

The western Canadian province of British Columbia has a large Sikh community which at the time of the bombings included supporters of the militant group Babbar Khalsa.

RE: Two Charged In Air India Blast

Sat Oct 28, 2000 9:17 pm

This makes the headlines in the paper today in Canada.
If they are the ones who really did it I hope they pay for it!!

Nicolas - Montreal
Posts: 3126
Joined: Fri Jul 07, 2000 3:14 pm

RE: Two Charged In Air India Blast

Sun Oct 29, 2000 12:48 am

Terrorists responsible for such inhuman acts should be shown no mercy. They deserve to be made into a horibble example.

One good out of this is that AI has spruced up its security ten-fold, even though I think it is a little bit irritating for the passengers. Lets hope all airlines start taking their security seriously.

After all with the events in the Middle-East...

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