VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – The man convicted of attempted murder who ended up on the guest list for a couple of events featuring the prime minister in India is offering his take.
Jaspal Atwal appeared in photos, including one with Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, during Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s trip to India.
Through his lawyer, Atwal says he’s renounced his views of the past and doesn’t know why he’s still being labelled a “terrorist.”
“He also wants to say that he’s symbolic of a lot of people in the Punjabi community,” says Atwal’s lawyer, Rishi Gill. “He clearly was on the far end… but a lot of people who held those views have also moved on.”
He says his client has taken responsibility for his actions and has become a contributing member of society.
“He doesn’t know why, at this point, he’s being labelled a terrorist… given these acts occurred almost four decades ago,” says Gill.
Gill was asked about the optics for a political party of Atwal showing up at an event, and whether that was a concern for him.
“At what point is is acceptable for an individual to have gone through exactly what we want in society that is being remorseful and rehabilitating yourself, and showing you’re a productive member of society? At what point should that person be allowed to engage in any part of life, in a public sense?”
LISTEN: NEWS 1130’s Alison Bailey speaks with Jaspal Atwal’s lawyer, Rishi Gill
Gill adds Atwal has been at other events attended by high-level politicians.
“Other politicians from all parties have been more than happy to reach out to Mr. Atwal, specifically, and have given him no cause to think that this would be an issue.”
Atwal, a former member of a banned Sikh separatist group, was convicted of the attempted murder of an Indian cabinet minister in 1986.