Toronto, July 28
Canadian police have arrested two men and charged them with first-degree murder in the targeted shooting of Ripudaman Singh Malik, the Sikh acquitted in the tragic case of the 1985 Air India Kanishka terrorist bombing that killed 331 people.
On July 15, Malik was shot dead in Surrey, British Columbia. Malik and co-defendant Ajaib Singh Bagri were acquitted in 2005 of mass murder and conspiracy in connection with the two 1985 bombings.
The 1985 Air India bombing is one of the worst terrorist attacks in Canadian and airline history.
Tanner Fox, a 21-year-old from Abbotsford, British Columbia, a city about 45 miles east of Vancouver, and 23-year-old Jose Lopez, from the Vancouver suburb of New Westminster, were both arrested Tuesday, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police said. at a press conference in Surrey on Wednesday.
Police kept tight-lipped, saying only that the two had been arrested peacefully in their respective cities and that police collaboration led to the arrests, the Toronto Star newspaper reported.
“Using conventional investigative techniques and great police work, we were able to identify and arrest two suspects in connection with this murder. Both individuals are known to the police,” said Chief Inspector Mandeep Mooker, a spokesperson for the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT).
Malik’s son Jaspreet Singh Malik said his family took the news with mixed feelings.
“Wherever the investigation goes and however these charges pan out, we have lost a great man,” Jaspreet said.
“We are pleased that the IHIT team has made progress and we support the work they are doing. At the same time, we are saddened that these two young men have made such poor life choices. We trust the justice system to treat them well and fairly,” he said.
Jaspreet said police have not told the family more than they have publicly disclosed, and will not speculate as to why his father was targeted.
The IHIT says the investigation into the murder of controversial Surrey businessman Malik continues despite charges of first-degree murder on Wednesday, the Vancouver Sun newspaper reported.
Fox, who grew up in Abbotsford, and Lopez, from New Westminster, both appeared in Surrey provincial court on Wednesday and have been remanded in custody until their next court date on August 10.
Lopez was indicted in Kelowna last summer on nine criminal counts, including possession of a firearm with ammunition, aiming a gun, violating a court order to possess firearms and resisting arrest.
Fox was convicted last April of resisting or obstructing a peace officer and sentenced to four days in prison. Last fall, he was charged with aggravated assault in connection with an incident in New Westminster. He was released on bail.
He had previously been convicted of assault with bodily harm in connection with a November 2019 stabbing in Abbotsford and sentenced to 119 days in prison and a 10-year firearms ban.
Malik was shot on July 14 while sitting in his car at a business complex in Surrey, of which he was the strata president.