Ottawa, The only person convicted in the 1985 Air India Kanishka bombings that killed 331 persons is now free, Canada’s parole board said today. Inderjit Singh Reyat had been ordered to live at a halfway house following his release from prison a year ago, after serving two decades behind bars.
“That condition has now been lifted and Reyat may return to a normal life, including living in a private residence,” parole board spokesman Patrick Storey said. The Sikh immigrant from India was convicted of making bombs that were stuffed into luggage and planted on two planes leaving Vancouver, and of lying in court to cover for his co- accused. One bomb tore apart Air India Flight 182 as it neared the coast of Ireland, killing all 329 on board, including entire families. The second exploded at Japan’s Narita airport, killing two baggage handlers.
Reyat was working as a mechanic in westernmost Canada and purchased the dynamite, batteries and detonators to make the bombs. Two alleged co-conspirators were acquitted because of lack of evidence and, according to prosecutors, because of Reyat’s perjury.
Storey said Reyat’s parole officer had assessed those with whom he would live “to ensure they will not have a negative influence on him.” Conditions of his release
from prison 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.