Air India bomb maker no longer required to attend counselling

The only person ever convicted for a role in the 1985 Air India bombing that killed 331 people will no longer have to attend psychological counselling as a condition of his parole.

Parole Board documents show Inderjit Singh Reyat no longer benefiting from psychological counselling

Inderjit Singh Reyat, seen in 2010, will no longer need to attend psychological counselling as part of his parole. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press)

The only person ever convicted for a role in the 1985 Air India bombing that killed 331 people will no longer have to attend psychological counselling as a condition of his parole.

National Parole Board documents state that the counselling, which was ordered as part of Inderjit Singh Reyat's statutory release in 2016, is no longer advancing his correctional plan.

Reyat was sentenced to a seven-year sentence after he was convicted of perjury in 2010 for repeatedly lying during his testimony at a trial into the bombing deaths. The parole board said that resulted in his co-accused not being convicted in Canada's worst mass murder.

The Parole Board of Canada documents reveal that Reyat has been co-operative in attending the counselling sessions, but that he has appeared "uncomfortable generally discussing issues" with the psychologist.

A psychologist report from February said that Reyat has been reluctant to discuss his personal failings. 

Minimal gains in therapy

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."

According to the psychologist, Reyat has made minimal gains in therapy.

"You have presented as guarded, denied your involvement in the Air India tragedy, and denied that you are a person of strong political beliefs," the documents, dated April 29, read.

Reyat's guilt and remorse appears to be limited to the impact his actions have had on himself and his family, and he hasn't been able to engage in any "meaningful discussions regarding victim empathy," according to the parole board.

Reyat has reportedly identified factors that contributed to his offending, including pride, an eagerness to do favours for others, naivety, lack of assertiveness and a lack of attention to consequences.

The parole board concluded that, as a result of the psychological counselling sessions, Reyat has not gained measurable insight into the harm he has caused to the victims of the bombing, and he has not developed empathy for others.

Other parole conditions remain in place until August, including not taking part in political activities or any organization, avoiding victims, avoiding people involved in criminal activity and extremist views, not possessing "components" that could be used to build an explosive device.


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Rafferty Baker

Rafferty Baker is CBC Vancouver's mobile journalist. Follow him @raffertybaker

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