Air India bomber Reyat can now live anywhere

Former Duncan resident and convicted airplane bomber Inderjit Singh Reyat has been released from prison.

Former Duncan resident and convicted airplane bomber Inderjit Singh Reyat has been released from a halfway house.

He is now free to live wherever he chooses in Canada, including Duncan, and while he must keep the courts informed of his whereabouts, he isn’t legally required to let the community where he will live know that he is there.

Andre Gerolymatos, a co-director of terrorism, risk and security studies at Simon Fraser University, said although the parole board hasn’t placed any conditions on informing the public of where Reyat is residing, it should.

“While it’s not a legal requirement, I believe there is a moral responsibility to inform the public of where he lives,” Gerolymatos said.

Cpl. Krista Hobday, spokeswoman for the North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP detachment, said some residence clauses in the parole conditions for released criminals require that the public be notified if and when a parolee changes residence.

But that would only occur if the released convict was considered a danger to the public, which the parole board deemed Reyat is not.

Reyat, who worked in Duncan as a mechanic, was the only person convicted in the 1985 Air India bombings that killed 331 people.

During his trial, it was revealed that he bought the dynamite, the detonators and the batteries for the attacks on two airliners while he was living in Duncan.

Reyat was a member of an extremist group fighting for a Sikh homeland at the time.

He is currently serving a seven-year sentence after being convicted of perjury in 2010 for repeatedly lying during his testimony at trial.

The parole board has indicated that resulted in his co-accused not being convicted in Canada’s worst mass murder.

In January 2016, Reyat was given statutory release after serving two-thirds of his sentence and was expected to be closely monitored at a halfway house at an undisclosed location for another 18 months.

But the parole board decided that, because he’s considered low-risk to offend again, he would be released.

“However, if there were a threat to your Sikh cause, your risk for future-based violence is high,” according to the parole board decision.

Reyat’s parole conditions state that he is not allowed to participate in political activities for any organization, can’t contact his victims’ families and must stay away from criminals, extremist propaganda and anything that can be used to build an explosive device.