Victim families upset over Reyat's release
The families of the victims of the 1985 Air India bombing on Wednesday expressed disappointment over the release of jailed bomber Inderjit Singh Reyat by the British Columbia court of appeal.
They were joined by British Columbia province's Indian-origin attorney general Wally Oppal who also expressed his disappointment over bail for Reyat.
"Because of the nature of the crime that was committed, because the lawyers in the ministry felt it would be contrary to the public interest to have him released; as well, there was concern on the part of the lawyers relating to his background," Oppal told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.
Toronto-based Bal Gupta, who lost his wife in the bombing and was instrumental in bringing together the families of the 329 victims under the banner of the Air India Victims Families Association, said it was "another very disappointing day" for them.
"We were not expecting it at all. But this has happened today. We all are very disappointed with this man getting out on bail. After all, he was the only person jailed for the bombing," Gupta told IANS.
Asked what steps, if any, they planned to take in protest, he said, "There is not much we can do. But this man soon faces another trial on perjury charges and we hope he will be back in jail soon."
Susheel Gupta, spokesman of the Air India Victims Families Association, said Wednesday's court decision was another blow to them.
"What does worry me is that as recently as the last parole hearing that was held for Reyat, those individuals entrusted to determine if he is eligible for parole felt that releasing him would be a risk to the community," he told Canadian Television.
Lata Pada of Toronto's famous Samparadaya Dance Academy, who lost her husband and two daughters in the bombing, refused to say anything.
"I have no reaction.I am not interested in talking about it.I will say when I know and read the whole thing," she told IANS.