Sikh School Destroyed By Fire, Police Suspect Arson

July 27, 2004

Source: The Globe and Mail

On July 27, 2004 The Globe and Mail reported, "Vancouver police are treating as a suspected arson a three-alarm fire on the weekend at a Sikh parochial school linked to Air-India defendant Ripudaman Singh Malik. Police were looking for two men who were seen running away from the school after the fire began, police said yesterday. An arson investigator has been assigned. The Khalsa School in south Vancouver is run by a non-profit organization called the Satnam Education Society, which was founded by Mr. Malik, a Vancouver businessman. Mr. Malik is on trial for the murder of 331 people in two bomb blasts in 1985, one of them aboard an Air-India jet off the coast of Ireland and the other at Tokyo's Narita airport. The fire, which began at about 11:15 p.m. on Saturday, destroyed three portable classrooms and severely damaged a fourth classroom. The 12-year old school is made up of a collection of 10 portables...Mr. Malik's son Jaspreet is a lawyer who also serves as a director on the Satnam Education Society board. He said he suspects juvenile delinquents caused the fire, and that he doesn't believe the blaze was related to his father's trial. Rocks have been thrown at the school building in the past, and a security guard is on the site until midnight during the academic year but not during the summer, he said. Jaspreet Malik estimated the damage at between $100,000 and $300,000. The fire did not destroy the school's copy of the Sikh Holy Scripture, he said. It was in one of the gutted portables that had been used as a Sikh temple and classroom for religious instruction."