Assassination of Ripudaman Singh Malik: no known motive, says RCMP

Assassination of Ripudaman Singh Malik : no motive known, underlines the RCMP

The septuagenarian had been acquitted in March 2005 of charges in connection with the the 1985 Air India flight bombing, Canada's deadliest terrorist attack.

Ripudaman Singh Malik left the BC Supreme Court in 2005 after being acquitted of the 1985 Air India flight bombing.

In the aftermath of the speculative murder of Ripudaman Singh Malik in Greater Vancouver, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) in Surrey say the motive for the crime is still unknown and are actively seeking witnesses who may help him with the investigation.

The RCMP's Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT) released video of a white Honda CRV on Friday. Investigators suspect the vehicle was used by the perpetrator(s).

[The car] arrived just before the attack and waited for Mr. Malik, IHIT Sgt. David Lee said Friday, based on footage from the vehicle's closed-circuit television (CCTV) system. The white Honda CRV was later found on fire near the scene of the murder.

The Integrated Homicide Investigation Team is still trying to confirm if the suspect vehicle is a stolen vehicle.

IHIT is unaware at this time if the assassination was videotaped as CCTV footage is still being analyzed.

The team asks Anyone with dash cam footage of the scene of the incident or where the suspect vehicle was found, taken between 7 a.m. and 10 a.m. Thursday, to contact the unity. Witnesses are also encouraged to come forward.

We can't specify the number of people [in the vehicle], because we don't want to influence the witnesses, we want them to come to us, regardless of how many people they saw, says Sergeant David Lee.

Ripudaman Singh Malik was targeted by several shots around 9.30am Thursday in Surrey. The RCMP confirmed his identity the day after the event, after statements from his son and two witnesses.

While the investigation continues, the RCMP also called for avoiding speculation about the motive for the killing. We are aware of its affiliation with the Air India flight, but at this point we are following the evidence and will not respond to speculation, says Sergeant David Lee.

Although there is no indication that this assassination is linked to the Air India bombing of 1985, the incident has awakened painful memories in those close to the victims. It brings back all that we have been through for the past 37 years, the wounds and our failures, says Deepak Khandelwal, of the Association of Families of the Victims of the attack.

I was in court in 2005 when he was acquitted, that brings all that back too. The numbness one felt when two people who had significant evidence against them were acquitted, he said.

Many people have forgotten this incident, but there were 280 Canadians on this flight, my two sisters are Canadian, I am a Canadian citizen, he said, lamenting the lack of consideration given to the families of the victims at the time.

The millionaire businessman was also very well known in the Sikh community. Ripudaman Singh Malik notably established the Khalsa Credit Union bank and the Khala school in Surrey. I am very sad, we have lost a hero, testifies for his part Raghbir Bhinder, a member of the community.

In a Facebook post, the son of Ripudaman Singh Malik says he prays that the tragedy is not linked to the Air India bombing.

My father was committed to his community, to his family, his goal was to see the Sikh immigrant community flourish through education and financial security, he writes. He leaves behind his wife, 5 children and 8 grandchildren.

With information from Benoit Ferradini and Meera Bains

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