Nation

Canadian Ripudaman Malik, once named in Kanishka bombing case, praises PM for Sikh community initiatives

New Delhi: Canadian Sikh Ripudaman Singh Malik, whose name had cropped up in the Kanishka bombing in 1985, has heaped praise upon Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his commendable gesture towards the Sikh community. However, at the same time, Malik has expressed his concerns over a few Sikhs for allegedly unleashing a coordinated campaign against Modi.

While offering to work with Modi-led government for the redressal of other Sikh issues, Malik who is also president of Satnam Education Society of B.C., Canada, has appealed to Sikhs “who are allegedly indulged in a nefarious campaign” against Modi to end their activities.

In a letter sent to Modi, Malik has mentioned various initiatives of the government for Sikhs. This includes reopening 1984 anti-Sikh riots closed cases, opening of Kartarpur Corridor; appointing a Sikh, Iqbal Singh Lalpura as Chairperson of National Commission for Minorities; grant of FCRA license for Golden Temple; year-long celebrations of 350th birth anniversary of Sikh’s first master Guru Nanak Dev; 450th birth anniversary of ‘Hind ki Chadar’ Guru Teg Bahadur and recognizing the martyrdom of Guru Gobind Singh’s younger sons Baba Zorawar Singh and Baba Fateh Singh by declaring December 26 as ‘Veer Bal Divas’.

Notably, Malik had fought a long battle before he was acquitted by the Canadian judiciary in 2005 of the charges of blowing Air India’s Flight 182 in Kanishka.

While expressing concern at some Sikhs who were allegedly working against the Modi government, Malik writes “I am concerned at an orchestrated campaign by some misguided members of my community against you in person and India at large”.

He said, “I have separately appealed them to desist from a vicious and motivated campaign launched ostensibly on their own but actually at the behest of some foreign powers interested in destabilizing India and challenging India’s national integrity and instead they should be appreciative of the unprecedented positive gestures made by your government.”

Malik has also offered the Modi government to work along with them in redressing the pending issues of concern to Sikhs in a democratic way adding that he had also made an appeal to Sikhs to engage in the process.