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'He could never have bombed a plane'
March 17, 2005 19:14 IST
While the acquittal of the Kanishka bombing accused has left the victims' families stunned, a relative of one of the undertrials, Ripudaman Singh Malik, welcomed the judgement on Thursday.
At his ancestral house in Ferozepur, Malik's aged aunt Surinder Kaur said she always knew that "Ripudaman cannot be a party to such a ghastly act."
'Verdict shattered everything' | Victims' kin shocked
The only member of the Malik family living in the cantonment here, she remembers Ripudaman as a "kind-hearted soul" and could never imagine him triggering a mid-air blast.
Ridiculing the charges made out against him by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, she asked: "How Ripudaman could think of bombing an airbus that was piloted by a Sikh (Captain S S Bhinder)?"
Is the Kanishka verdict fair? | Bagri: Healing will begin
A British Colombia Supreme Court judge found Malik and mill worker Ajaib Singh Bagri not guilty in the Air India bombing that killed all 329 people on board off the Irish Coast in 1985.
Ripudaman along with Bagri was arrested after a 15 year-long investigation by RCMP on October 27, 2000 on charges of having conspired to bomb two Air India planes as a revenge for Operation Bluestar.
The RCMP had also charged Malik for having links with Babbar Khalsa International, a terrorist outfit.
Although Malik's aunt admitted that Ripudaman was "extremely upset" following Operation Blue star, she said she could never imagine that her nephew could conspire to kill innocent passengers and said the truth was before everyone's eye after the judgement.