One of two men acquitted of planning the worst terrorist attack in Canadian history was seen at a campaign event for Tom Gill’s Surrey First mayoral bid.
Now Gill’s party is trying to distance itself from Ripudaman Singh Malik.
Malik and Ajaib Singh Bagri were found not guilty in 2005 of the 1985 Air India bombings that killed 331 people.
Twitter user @JaswinderGrew41 published a photo and video on Oct. 7 of a Surrey First event, where Malik was seen seated among more than 100 people in a banquet room, listening to Gill.
theBreaker also obtained a copy of WhatsApp message that appears to have originated from Malik, encouraging attendance at a Sept. 1 meeting in the Khalsa School in Newton. Read the message: “To support Tom Gill for Mayar (sic) & slate for council…. please attend.”
Gill did not respond to theBreaker, but campaign spokesman Norman Stowe of the Pace Group did.
“[Gill] attends a dozen different events every day that are organized by individuals and community groups across the city,” Stowe said. “It would be impossible for him to personally know everyone who might attend and he was not aware of Mr Malik’s attendance at any particular event.”
Did Malik donate to the Surrey First campaign?
“While we’re confident we have not had a campaign contribution from Mr. Malik we have asked our finance folks to go through everything to be sure,” Stowe said. “They will be back to me on Monday.”
It is not the first time that Malik’s attendance at a political event has caused a stir.
Vancouver mayor Gregor Robertson was photographed in 2010 smiling near Malik at the Khalsa School in Vancouver by NPA Coun. Suzanne Anton. Robertson said he was there for the school opening and did not shake Malik’s hand.
In 2011, Vancouver South Conservative Wai Young was invited to the Khalsa School, where Malik endorsed her bid to unseat Ujjal Dosanjh to teachers and parents.
Young later said that she had been invited by the principal and would have not attended had she known Malik was present or involved with the school.
Young is running for Vancouver mayor under the Coalition Vancouver banner.
Support theBreaker.news for as low as $2 a month on Patreon. Find out how. Click here.