1985 Narita International Airport bombing

1985 Narita International Airport bombing
Narita International Airport, Terminal 1. The main site that the bombings happened.

At 07:13 on Sunday, June 23, 1985 an explosion at Tokyo Narita International Airport killed two baggage handlers, and injured four. The bomb in that bag was intended for Air India Flight 301 with 177 passengers and crew on board, bound for Bangkok International Airport.



Fifty-five minutes later, at 08:13 Irish time, Air India Flight 182 exploded mid-air and plunged into the Atlantic Ocean off the west coast of Ireland, killing 329 people. The incidents are believed to be related, and are connected to the Sikh separatist group operating in Canada known as the Babbar Khalsa. It is also believed that the Narita bomb detonated an hour ahead of schedule because the terrorists were unaware that while Canada uses daylight saving time, Japan does not.

The only man ever convicted of any involvement in the bombing was Inderjit Singh Reyat. He received a ten-year sentence of two counts of manslaughter and four explosives charges after being found gulity in a Vancouver court room in May 1991. In 2003, weeks before the start of the Air India Trial, Reyat cut a deal with prosecutors. In exchange for pleading gulity to manslaughter in the Flight 182 bombing, he was sentenced to five years in prison and was to testify against the two other men tried in Canada for these incidents, Ripudaman Singh Malik and Ajaib Singh Bagri. They were found not guilty by Justice Ian Josephson as prosecutors had not been able to meet the standard of proof beyond a reasonable doubt. As part of their verdict Justice Josephson said this about Reyat's testimony at their trial:

Even the most sympathetic of listeners could only conclude, as do I, that his evidence was patently and pathetically fabricated in an attempt to minimize his involvement in his crime to an extreme degree, while refusing to reveal relevant information he clearly possesses. His hollow expression of remorse for his crime must have been a bitter pill for the families of the victims.

In 2006 Crown Counsel in British Columbia announced they would be charging Inderjit Singh Reyat with perjury based upon his testimony at the Air India Trial. It is alleged that he committed perjury 27 times during his testimony.[1]

Timeline of the Incident

On June 22, 1985, the bags of a passenger named L. Singh were checked in at Vancouver for Canadian Pacific Airlines (CP Air) 003 to New Tokyo International Airport in Narita, Japan, near Tokyo. This bag was interlined to Air India Flight 301 leaving for Don Muang International Airport in Bangkok, Thailand. L. Singh was assigned seat 38H.

At 2037 GMT, CP Air Flight 003 (named Empress of Australia), departed Vancouver without L. Singh on board.

At 0541 GMT (now June 23), CP Air 003 arrived in Tokyo Narita 14 minutes early.

At 0619 GMT, a piece of luggage that had come from CP Air 3 exploded as it was being transferred to Air India Flight 301; the explosion killed two Japanese baggage handlers (Hideo Asano and Hideharu Koda) in Narita Airport and injured four other people.

At 0714 GMT, Air India Flight 182 exploded in mid-air off the coast of Ireland, killing all 329 people on board with no surviours. Further investigation connects the bombing of the Boeing 747 with the bombing at Narita.

At 0805 GMT, Air India Flight 301 left Narita and arrived in Thailand unscathed and with no incidents.

February, 1988 – Inderjit Singh Reyat is arrested by West Midlands Police in Coventry, United Kingdom (near Birmingham, England).

December 8, 1989 – The British government agrees to extradite Reyat to Canada following a lengthy court battle and trial.

May 10, 1991 – Inderjit Singh Reyat receives a stiff ten-year sentence after being convicted of two counts of manslaughter terms and four explosives charges relating to the Narita Airport bombing that happened 6 years ago.

See also

  • Sikh Extremism


External links

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