Reyat not required to attend psychological counselling as he’s not benefiting from it

Inderjit Singh Reyat
Photo by Indira Prahst

AIR India bombmaker Inderjit Singh Reyat will no longer be required to attend psychological counselling as a condition of his parole because it is no longer helping him. He has made minimal gains.

Reyat has cooperated in attending the counselling sessions, but he’s appeared “uncomfortable generally discussing issues” with the psychologist, according to Parole Board of Canada documents.

The CBC reports that the report indicated that Reyat has described his role of “‘supplying materials’ for the bombs as ‘an act of kindness,'” and that he has been “eager to show [himself] as innocent of any wrongdoing.”

The documents state: “You have presented as guarded, denied your involvement in the Air India tragedy, and denied that you are a person of strong political beliefs.”

Parole Board member Catherine Dawson said in her decision: “You have … denied your involvement in the Air India tragedy, and have denied that you are a person of strong political beliefs.”

Dawson noted: “You [Reyat] have explained that any ‘missteps’ were a result of bad judgment in your desire to be helpful. Nonetheless the psychologist indicates that you appeared to partly address a cognitive distortion that in your desire to ‘help’ you may have turned a blind eye contributing to violence on a mass scale.”

She added: “The board remains very concerned with the gravity of your criminal offending that contributed to the deaths of 331 people. The impact of these deaths on families as well across the community and around the globe is incalculable.”

Other parole conditions remain in place until August when his sentence ends.

In 1991, Reyat was sentenced to 10 years in prison for manslaughter in connection with the bombing at Japan’s Narita airport in June of 1985 that killed two baggage handlers. In February of 2003 he pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the June 1985 Air India bombing after having been charged with conspiracy to commit murder and first-degree murder in 2001. He was charged with perjury in February 2006 while still in jail. He was out on bail from July 2008 until his conviction in September 2010.

Ripudaman Singh Malik of Vancouver and Ajaib Singh Bagri of Kamloops were acquitted in the Air India trial.