11 July 2008

UPDATE - Inderjit Singh Reyat Ji's Bail Conditions

Here is Kimmy Bolan's take on this. I do wonder if a kirpan is considered a 'prohibited device.' I have included some comments - unedited by me - at the bottom, just togive some perspective on the opinions of people in 'our home and native land.' And I intensely dislike this picture of him. I need to see him standing upright and strong.

Reyat's bail conditions finally released

Kim Bolan, Vancouver Sun

Published: Friday, July 11, 2008

METRO VANCOUVER - RCMP bomb-sniffing dogs will be allowed to search the Surrey home of convicted terrorist Inderjit Singh Reyat every week "to ensure compliance with the firearms and explosives prohibition" in his bail conditions, the B.C. Court of Appeal has ruled.

Reyat, the only man convicted in the 1985 Air India bombing, will not be allowed to possess "any firearm, crossbow, prohibited weapon, restricted weapon, prohibited device, ammunition, prohibited ammunition, or explosive substance" as part of the extraordinary conditions that allowed him to be freed Thursday while awaiting a perjury trial.

The appeal court summoned media lawyers to a special session Friday afternoon to release both Reyat's conditions and the court's reasons for allowing the bomb-maker out on bail, reversing a March ruling by B.C. Supreme Court Associate Chief Justice Patrick Dohm denying him bail.

Inderjit Singh ReyatView Larger Image View Larger Image

Inderjit Singh Reyat

Global BC

Since the surprise ruling Wednesday, a veil of secrecy had surrounded the proceeding, which upset family members of the 329 victims of the Air India bombing.

Appeal Court Justice Risa Levine read a brief statement saying that she was releasing the decision of her colleague Justice Anne Rowles to maintain the judiciary's "principle of openness."

As The Vancouver Sun first reported, Reyat had to raise sureties worth $500,000 in order to secure his bail and reside at his wife's rented home at 13114 73A Ave. in Surrey.

He will be under virtual house arrest, though allowed to work, go to appointments and attend "one place of religious observance, as approved in advance by his bail supervisor."

The 56-year-old double bomber must also "present himself at the door of his residence for any bail supervisor or police officer who attends for the purpose of confirming his compliance with these terms."

Despite the fact that Attorney-General Wally Oppal earlier called the conditions "extremely strict," there is no curfew, electronic monitor or ban on associating with others in the Sikh separatist movement that motivated the June 1985 plot to bomb two Air India flights.

There is also no restriction on meeting Ripudaman Singh Malik and Ajaib Singh Bagri, the two men acquitted after Reyat allegedly lied 27 times at their trial.

In her 32-page ruling, Rowles said Dohm was wrong to deny Reyat bail on the grounds that his "detention was necessary to maintain confidence in the administration of justice."

Dohm ruled in March that "the Crown has a strong case" against Reyat and that the circumstances of the case are extraordinary.

But Rowles said Dohm was incorrectly conflating "the offence of perjury with the offence of conspiracy to commit murder."

"It is clear from his reasons, however, that the exceptional or extraordinary circumstances on which he relied in denying bail was the purported link between the testimony alleged to be perjured and what he referred to as the Air India offence," Rowles said.

Rowles quoted from a prison report last February that said Reyat was a low risk to reoffend while out on bail.

"It also seems significant to me that there is no indication in the material of his engaging in any violent or aggressive behaviour towards others while he has been in prison," Rowles said.

Rowles acknowledged that Reyat was a well-regarded Vancouver Island electrician when he got involved in the political struggle for Khalistan in the mid-1980s and felt the need to retaliate against the Indian government after its raid on the Golden Temple, Sikhism's holiest shrine.

"It is clear that he had sympathy for acts of violence in a political cause in India and was prepared to aid others in that cause by procuring components for explosive devices," she said. "If Mr. Reyat continues to harbour the same sympathies he had in 1985, he could present a risk to public safety."

But she said that risk could be managed by the 14 conditions imposed.

Until this week, Reyat had been in jail for more than 20 years, at first fighting his extradition from England, where he had fled after being identified as a suspect in both the Air India bombing and the same-day blast at Tokyo's Narita Airport.

He was convicted in 1991 of making the Narita bomb, which was destined for a second Air India flight when it exploded prematurely and killed two baggage handlers. Reyat was then charged in 2001 in the Air India blast and pleaded guilty to manslaughter, getting another five years.

He was then called as a Crown witness against Malik and Bagri and is accused of lying 27 times during his testimony. If convicted again, he faces a maximum sentence of 14 years.



Kevin McKinney
Fri, Jul 11, 08 at 07:21 PM
What a perversion of justice. Did it even cross the mind of this judge that Reyat and those that he is protecting might like to get him out of the country ?
Scott Jones
Fri, Jul 11, 08 at 07:56 PM
What about the air india victims families? This man should not be allowed to walk free
Fri, Jul 11, 08 at 08:01 PM
"Rowles said Dohm was wrong to deny Reyat bail on the grounds that his "detention was necessary to maintain confidence in the administration of justice."" What a joke. With actions like this from judges, it is not too amazing that I and many other have lost confidence in the "justice" system long ago.
Fri, Jul 11, 08 at 08:05 PM
I think this story is incomplete. What are the 14 conditions?
Fri, Jul 11, 08 at 08:19 PM
I am saddend for the families of the over 300 victims that this person was not given 300 life in prison terms, and because he wasnt he walks the street today. Unlike His victims. I am ashamed of Canada and our Charter of rights that has turned our justice system upside down. This case should be studued intensively and we should amend our laws so such a "Travesty of Justice" Will never happen again. Why should ANYBODY who is responsible for the Violent Deaths of 329 human beings ever be allowed to walk among innocent citizens. Bail should never ever of been an option available to this person. And bail of $500,000. Thats about $1,500 per victim.
Fri, Jul 11, 08 at 08:19 PM
So I can go out....bomb a plane...kill hundreds of innocent people and only spend 20 yrs in prison and then be released on bail???Gee...how comforting! I cannot believe the justice system.I'm appalled!!!
Fri, Jul 11, 08 at 08:54 PM
Typical Canadian bleeding heart judges!
Fri, Jul 11, 08 at 10:26 PM
its absolutely disgusting a man who uses religion as disguise to kill INNOCENT people gets to walk free. He shouldnt be allowed to see day light in his llife again.
Bruce Wayne
Fri, Jul 11, 08 at 10:32 PM
This is unbelievable. Did the dead and innocent, from the hands of this animal, have any standing in our gutless court?


The Eyes Of Balwant Singh Rajoana - A Singh To Be Proud Of

This does seem to be an uplifting week.. A demonstration planned for Brother Laibar Singh Ji, an inspiring story of 1984, Inderjeet Singh Reyat out on bail and now this most generous gesture by our brother, Balwant Singh Rajoana.

From Sikh World News:

India Calls Him Murderer, He Gives Life
Balwant Singh Rajoana shames death sentence
Panth and Humanity sole claimants to my body after death;
donates eyes to Huzuri Ragi of Darbar Sahib, Amritsar

Jagmohan Singh

BURAIL (CHANDIGARH): Every time, Kamaldeep Kaur looks into her brother's eyes, she knows such occasions will be few and far between. Balwant Singh Rajoana is on the death row, convicted in Beant Singh murder case. But such is his worldview that perhaps Kamaldeep may long have to live with those eyes. Long after Balwant Singh hangs to the utter shame of Indian justice system.

Rajoana's Eyes. Eyes that have seen untold atrocities against the Sikhs, eyes that have seen the machinations of hegemonic brahaminical forces trying to annihilate as well as assimilate the Sikhs, eyes that have rarely dropped a tear, eyes that have always gleamed with pride in the service of the Guru.

Rajoana's eyes. Eyes that will now shame even death. In the presence of his sister, brother-in-law, nephew and the Deputy Superintendent of Model Jail, Chandigarh, (where he is lodged), Balwant Singh Rajoana has signed his Will, donating his eyes to the blind Hazuri Ragi Singh of Darbar Sahib Harmandar Sahib, Bhai Lakhwinder Singh, on 17 June 2008. The original Will

It was not a spur of the moment decision. Rajoana, in fact, first wrote to the Jathedar of Sri Akal Takht Sahib on June 5, explaining his wish. This was followed by calls from personal attendant of the Jathedar to the Deputy Superintendent of Jail, and thus he was granted permission by the jail authorities.

The Will of Bhai Balwant Singh Rajoana

Ik Onkar

Oh Kabir, there is nothing of mine in this life
Whatever is there, is yours
If I surrender what is yours, unto Thee
What do I lose or pay?

Bhagat Kabir, Guru Granth Sahib

Accepting the Omnipresence of Akal Purakh (God Almighty), I hereby swear on oath that after my death, all the parts of my body, which can benefit any person, are pledged to the highest temporal authority of the Sikhs, Sri Akal Takht Sahib.

It is my earnest wish that after my death, my eyes may kindly be given to Hazuri Ragi of Sri Darbar Sahib Harmandar Sahib, Bhai Lakhwinder Singh, who is blind, so that through him, my eyes continue to revere holy Darbar Sahib. For medical or other reasons, in case this is not possile, then my eyes may be given to any other needy person.

In addition to this any other part of my body (heart, kidney or any other) which can be beneficial to any other person, may be given to that person.

I am writing this Will without any coercion or compulsion and out of my own convictions and commitment and with the approval of the members of my family.

I am happily making this Will in the presence of my sister Kamaldeep Kaur, my brother in law Baljit Singh, my nephew Ajaydeep Singh, my neice Harnoor Kaur, Superintendent of the Model Jail Chandigarh, Navjot Pal Singh Randhawa ji, Medical office, B. K. Salwan and other jail authorities.

Balwant Singh Rajoana

Countersigned by

Kamaldeep Kaur
Baljit Singh
Ajaydeep Singh
Navjot Pal Singh Randhawa
Deputy Superintendent of Jails

17 June 2008

In his hand-written letter, sent to the Jathedar through the prison authorities, Balwant Singh Rajoana said: "As you are aware, I have been sentenced to death by an Indian court in the Beant Singh assassination case. I have decided not to appeal against this order and not to submit before this system."

He said while he was waiting for his final call from the government of India, he desired that "after my death, the vital organs of my body (eyes, kidneys, heart and any other part that may be useful to any other person) may be offered at Sri Akal Takht Sahib to be given to those who may need them." The idea was that the organs could be donated to anyone as per the wishes of the Sikh community. Rajoana had in fact made it clear right at the time of his conviction that his body shall be donated.

Explaining himself, he said that while watching the Kirtan programme on television, the sight of a blind Hazuri Ragi inspired him to offer his eyes, so that, "even after my death, (through the Ragi Singh) my eyes continue to worship at holy Darbar Sahib."

Speaking to the World Sikh News, Kamaldeep Kaur, the sister of Balwant Singh, informed that the will was signed in her presence. Her husband Baljit Singh, her son Ajaideep Singh and Mr. Randhawa, the jail deputy superintendent were also witness to the document.

In his communiqué to the Jathedar of Akal Takht, Giani Joginder Singh, he has said that "every single part of my body" that could be of any use to anyone in the service of the Panth and humanity could be used accordingly.

Parents of Balwant Singh Rajoana

Dying is no act of bravado, to be prepared to die for one's convictions is bravado par excellence. No university could have educated Kamaldeep Kaur about this great truth, but Rajoana's life has.

"Many people think that my brother wants to die. No. Like all living things he also wants to live, but he does not want to cringe, he does not want to dither from his Ardas, he does not want to love life at the cost of his courage and the cause of the Khalsa Panth."

One only wonders how many sisters who tie rakhi around their brother's wrist across India can actually understand what Kamaldeep must be passing through. Or perhaps every single one of them will understand, if only the Sikh community ensures that the story of Rajoana's Eyes be spread and propagated all across the globe.

Harpinder Singh Goldy

Rajoana's sister about his decision

"Having lost my brother Harpinder Singh Goldy to the Sikh struggle, I do not want to lose another one, but at the same time I bow before his decision not to appeal his sentence and not to submit to the Indian system, which violates human rights of Sikhs. What he is saying and doing is in the true traditions of the Sikhs...My aged parents wanted a support system for themselves but they are not selfish. They are proud of their son and his commitment."

Eye Pledge Form

"By this act, I think my brother will bring more respect to the Sikh community." There is no end to beautiful, heart-wrenching poetry about eyes, the beauty of eyes, the power of eyes, eyes full of tears, eyes that laugh, eyes that move hearts. But the saga of Rajoana's Eyes will remain perhaps unmatched, for which poet has ever written about the power of eyes of a man condemned to death? Rajoana does not want to shut his eyes to his Guru, to his brave Sikh nation, to the machinations of its enemies, to the great ideal of Sarbat Da Bhala.

Beant Singh's eyes were always covered with trademark black-tinted glasses, even during broad daylight. Those were eyes that could not handle shame, for more were dying under Beant Singh's jackboots than a human heart could bear to see. Now, Rajoana's Eyes will ensure that the line between a life spent in Guru's sewa and a death courted for one's principles shall stand merged.

Even the most ungrateful would hold him in awe and respect.

Rajoana's seven-year-old nephew, Ajaydeep Singh, was told about the reasons for which Rajoana was in prison, the contents of his will of June 17 and the possibility of him climbing the scaffolding ladder with a noose around his neck. "Tell Mamaji, I will never forget him. I will remember him for all my life." Little kid of the Sikh Nation, you will not be alone. Rajoana's Eyes will see that the Sikh Nation will never forget him. And the story of Rajoana's Eyes will live on long after those eyes stop shining.

2 July, 2008