Sikh Indian convicted for 1985 Air India Flight 182 - Kanishka bombings walks free after 32 years 

February 16, 2017, 4:34 pm
Sikh Indian convicted for 1985 Air India Flight 182 - Kanishka bombings walks free after 32 years 
INDIA ABROAD
INDIA ABROAD
Sikh Indian convicted for 1985 Air India Flight 182 - Kanishka bombings walks free after 32 years 

Sikh Indian convicted for 1985 Air India Flight 182 - Kanishka bombings walks free after 32 years 

The only person convicted in the 1985 Air India - Kanishka - bombings that killed 331 people now walks free, as Canada's parole board said on Wednesday.

After serving two decades behind bars, Inderjit Singh Reyat had been ordered to live at a halfway house following his release from prison one year ago.

The restriction has now been taken and Reyat may lead a normal life, including "living in a private residence," parole board spokesman Patrick Storey told AFP in an email.

The Indian Sikh expatriate was convicted for making bombs that were stuffed into luggage and planted on to the two planes leaving Vancouver, and of lying in court to cover for his co- accused.

Of the bombs, one bombarded Air India Flight 182 - Kanishka - as it neared the coast of Ireland, killing all 329 people aboard, including entire infants and children.

The second exploded at Japan's Narita airport, killing two baggage handlers as they were transferring cargo to another Air India flight.

The blasts followed a crackdown on Sikhs militants, and those behind it were allegedly seeking revenge for the Golden Temple operation.

Reyat working as a mechanic in westernmost Canada, purchased the dynamite, batteries and detonators used to construct the bombs.

Two alleged co-conspirators were acquitted due to a lack of evidence and, according to prosecutors, because of Reyat's perjury.

Storey said Reyat's parole officer has assessed those with whom he will live "to ensure they will not have a negative influence on him."

Conditions of his release from prison also still apply, including having no contact with the victims' families nor with extremists.

Reyat must also shun all political activities and take counseling for violent tendencies, a lack of empathy and exaggerated beliefs.