Malkiat Singh Sidhu

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Malkiat Singh Sidhu (died 27 April 1991) was the former Planning Minister of Punjab, India. He was a member of the Akali Dal political party.[1] In 1986, he was named Minister of State.[2]

On 25 May 1986, he was ambushed by four Canadian Sikhs who learned he was visiting the country on a private matter, and shot. Although he survived the assassination attempt, he was killed five years later at his home in India.[3]

Canadian ambush[edit]

Sidhu entered Canada to attend his nephew's wedding; although his entrance was not noted by Canadian authorities, Sikh extremists learned of the trip through "the efficiency of the Sikh intelligence network".[4] It was later determined that "clear information on the pending attempt on his life" had been given to Canadian authorities two days prior, but since the attack occurred over a weekend, the information was not passed on to its necessary agency until the following Monday.[5][6]

While driving on an isolated gravel road near Gold River on Vancouver Island with three other people, Sidhu's car was forced to stop when another vehicle stopped in front of them. The occupants exited their vehicle and began smashing Sidhu's car with hammers, firing five .32-calibre bullets into the car, striking Sidhu in the arm and chest. Sidhu feigned death, and the men ran back to their vehicle.[7][8]

Shortly afterward, Jasbir Singh Atwal, Jaspal Singh Atwal, Armajit Singh Dhindsa and Sukhdial Singh Gill were arrested at a police roadblock.[9] In February 1987, all four men were convicted and sentenced to 20 years' imprisonment.[7]

In September 1987, their cases were overturned when Michael Code, the same lawyer who had successfully defended the Sikhs accused of plotting to destroy Air India Flight 112 the year before,[10] showed that the wiretap evidence against the four attackers had been obtained on a fraudulent warrant by the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS), who had provided a judge with faulty evidence from a source known to be untrustworthy.[11][12] CSIS director Ted Finn resigned shortly after it was revealed that the CSIS affidavits were riddled with errors.[12] However a government appeal upheld their convictions and sentences in June 1990.[13]


Sidhu was one of five Indian politicians running for office who were killed in 1991, gunned down along with his bodyguard by militants on 27 April while walking from his house in Moga to visit a friend.[3][14][15][16]


  1. ^ Khalid, Iram. "Conflict within state: a case study of South Asian and South East Asian". p. 225
  2. ^ Asian recorder, Issue 2. p. 18,964
  3. ^ a b Kitchener Waterloo Record, "Vancouver Sikhs in shock after politician shot dead", 29 April 1991
  4. ^ Pruthi, R. K. "Sikhism and Indian Civilization", p. 161
  5. ^ Report on a Review of the Management of the Counter Terrorism Security Intelligence Process Related to the "Malkiat Singh Sidhu Incident" of 25 May 1986
  6. ^ Commission of Inquiry into the Investigation of the Bombing of Air India Flight 182, 25 March 2009
  7. ^ a b ERTA, Sikh Extremism Archived 2008-09-08 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ Spokesman-Review, Canada's Sikh community split by moderates, fundamentalists, 11 June 1986
  9. ^ "Four men charged with trying to murder an Indian minister". Orlando Sentinel. 25 December 1986. Retrieved 21 March 2018.
  10. ^ Toronto Star, Defence lawyer asks lighter FLQ terms for two terrorists, 17 January 1987
  11. ^ India Today, Volume 12, p. 106
  12. ^ a b Farson, Anthony Stuart. "Security and intelligence in a changing world: new perspectives for the 1990s", p. 191
  13. ^ Spokane-Chronicle, "Appeals court upholds sentences", 26 June 1990
  14. ^ Press Institute of India, "Data India", 1991. p. 407
  15. ^ Sikh Times, A Timeline of Sikh Religious and Political History
  16. ^ Argus-Press, Sikh militants suspected in murder of candidate, 29 April 1991