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The man behind the 1985 bombing of a 747 off the coast of Cork has been freed

On 23 June 1985, an Air India Boeing 747 bound for Delhi exploded some 120 miles off the coast of Cork.

download Source: National Archives 2016/22/203 & 204

THE ONLY PERSON convicted in the 1985 Air India bombings that killed 331 people 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 one 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 told AFP in an email.

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 Cork, killing all 329 people aboard, including entire families.

AIR INDIA BOEING 747 CRASH A drifting piece of wreckage near Cork. Source: CAULKIN AND REDMAN AP/Press Association Images

The second exploded at Japan’s Narita airport, killing two baggage handlers as they transferred cargo to another Air India plane.

The blasts followed a crackdown on Sikhs fighting for an independent homeland, and those behind it were allegedly seeking revenge for the storming of the Golden Temple in Amritsar by Indian troops.

Reyat was working as a mechanic in westernmost Canada and purchased the dynamite, batteries and detonators used to construct the bombs.

Two alleged co-conspirators were acquitted due to a lack of evidence and, according to prosecutors, because of Reyat’s perjury.

Storey said Reyat’s parole officer has assessed those with whom he will live “to ensure they will not have a negative influence on him.”

Conditions of his release from prison also 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.

© – AFP 2017

Read: Ireland risked a PR disaster by billing for post mortems following the Air India 747 bombing

Read: 30 years ago, the Irish navy began the search and rescue in ‘shark infested’ waters for victims of Flight 182

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