New Delhi, Jan 19: Ripudaman Singh Malik, Sikh leader from Canada has written a letter to PM Narendra Modi for a number of steps his government has taken for the Sikh community. He expressed his "deep heartfelt gratitude" for the unprecedented positive steps taken by the Modi government. Notably, Malik was one of the accused of the Kanishka bombing of Air India flight by Khalistani terrorists in which over 300 people lost their lives. He was acquitted by the Canadian court in 2005.
In his letter, Malik said, "I am writing you this to express my deer heartfelt gratitude for the unprecedented positive steps taken by yourself to redress long-reading Sikh demands and grievances including elimination of blacklists that restricted visit to India of thousands of Sikhs living abroad, grant of passports and visas to asylees and their families, reopening of hundreds of 1984-riots closed cases leading to conviction and jail term for some, declaring 1984-riots as ‘genocide’ by then Home Minister Shri Rajnath Singh on the floor of the House, giving compensation or Rs. 5.00 lakh per family of the anti-Sikh genocide victims, opening of Sri Kartarpur Saheb Corridor facilitating pilgrims from India to visit the revered place of our first Master Guru Nanak Dev Ji."
He also expressed happiness on declaration of December 26 - the martyrdom of Guru Gobind Singh’s sons - as ‘Veer Baal Diwas’. At the same time, Singh showed concerns at an “orchestrated campaign” by some misguided members of the Sikh community against the Modi government and India. This, he said, is being done at the behest of some foreign powers which are interested in destabilising India and challenge its national integrity.
Singh promised to work with the government of India for redressal of pending issues. In a separate letter to the Sikh community, Singh urged them to desist from the vicious and motivated campaign. "Violence in Punjab only ends up hurting the interests of the Sikh community in Punjab and throughout India and around the world. I do my daily Ardaas for world peace as I do not like seeing my community or any community suffer due to violence," he added in the letter.
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"I do not believe it is right to unfairly criticise the Prime Minister given his many positive gestures towards the Sikh community. Instead of criticising we should be appreciating and engaging meaningfully with the government of India under his leadership towards a positive partnership for the future," Singh furthers said in the letter.
Reportedly, Malik runs Khalsa schools in Canada and was acquitted in 1985 Air India Kanishka bombing by Canadian judiciary in 2005. Apart from the Vancouver Education Board curriculum, the Khalsa school also teaches Punjabi language and culture. During summer vacations, students take classes in the Sikh religion, including kirtan.