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British Columbia Peoples Party BCPP-Canada plans to sue India Govt. $ 500 Million in Air India Kanishka case

British Columbia Peoples Party BCPP-Canada plans to sue India Govt. $ 500 Million in Air India Kanishka case

by Matthew PaulsonJune 20, 2014

Vancouver BC. Cindy Gill. Canada has begun talking to the families of the 329 victims of the Kanishka bombing about financial compensation as it tries bring to closure the 25-year-old terror case, the worst in country’s history. Former Canadian Public Safety Minister Vic Toews and Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney sent letters earlier to families whose loved ones died in the 1985 bombing of Air India Flight 182 in which all 329 people were killed when the Boeing 747 crashed into the Atlantic Ocean. The 329 included 280 Canadian citizens, mostly of Indian birth or descent, predominantly Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims along Capt. Amar Singh Bhinder, Capt. Hanse with Air India crew and 22 Indians. The letter discusses the possibility of the families getting an “ex-gratia payment,” which was one of the proposals made in June by the commissioner of the Air India Inquiry, Justice John Major, according to National Post. Three previous such payments are cited in the ministers’ three-page letter: the $21,000 paid to families of Japanese internment during the Second World War; $24,000 to victims of chemical weapons testing; and $20,000 paid over the Chinese head tax. The ministers’ letter says ex-gratia payments are “made in the public interest”. Fair compensation from Canada Government has been periodically denied, leaving the “ball with AIR INDIA”. British Columbia Peoples Party BCPP, has been approached by 50 Air India Kanishka victims families residing in British Columbia’s Vancouver, Surrey and Richmond cities, to file a Class action Suit in India’s Supreme court for $ 500 Million Canadian Dollars, for being treated like a “Soccer Ball”, for the last 29 Years. BCPP President has written to India’s Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Pasupati, on the compensation matter, under International Air Careers policy where victims families are awarded $ 1 Million dollar each for Air Disasters, mechanical or terror. BCPP President Vikram Bajwa and Chairman AIR INDIA Kanishka Investigation Justice John Major, recently had gone to India to meet the victims families, in Chandigarh New Delhi and Mumbai.   Anil Sharma, whose father was in the Kanishka, strongly feels AIR INDIA, should own up responsibility for Victims claims and not let us “Hindus” treal like a soccer ball, between India and Canada, as did the previous Congress government of   Dr. Manmohan Singh. “We expect Hindu Nationalist Prime Minister Narinder Modi to come to our rescue as Hindus were targeted in AIR INDIA Kanishka”, said  Sharma.                                                                                                                                                                                      

Air India Flight 182 was an Air India flight operating on the Montreal–London–Delhi route. On 23 June 1985, this Boeing 747 – was blown up by a bomb at an altitude of 31,000 feet (9,400 m). It crashed into the Atlantic Ocean while in Irish airspace. It was the first bombing of a 747 jumbo jet. A total of 329 people were killed, including 268 Canadians, 27 British citizens and 24 Indians. The majority of the victims were Canadians of Indian ancestry. The incident was the largest mass murder in Canadian history,. The bombing of Air India 182 occurred at the same time as the Narita Airport bombing. Investigators believe that the two plots were linked, and that the group responsible was aiming for a double-bombing. However the bomb at Narita exploded before it could be loaded onto the plane. Canadian law enforcement determined that the main suspects in the bombing were members of the Sikh militant group Babbar Khalsa. The attack is thought to have been a retaliation against India for the operation carried out by the Indian Army Operation Blue Star to flush out several hundred Sikh who were within the premises of the Golden temple and the surrounding structures ordered by the Government of India, headed Prime Minister Mrs Indira Gandhi. Though a handful of members were arrested and tried, Inderjit Singh Reyat, a Canadian national, remains the only person legally convicted of involvement in the bombing. Singh pleaded guilty in 2003 to manslaughter. He was sentenced to 15 years in prison for building the bombs that exploded aboard Flight 182 and at Narita. Investigation and prosecution lasting almost 20 years made this the most expensive trial in Canadian history, costing nearly CAD $130 million.

The Governor General-in-Council in 2006 appointed the former Supreme Court Justice John Major to conduct a commission of inquiry. His report was completed and released on 17 June 2010. It concluded that a “cascading series of errors” by the government of Canada, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), and the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) had allowed the terrorist attack to take place.[4] Indian carrier Air India has been vindicated by Justice John Major’s report on the bombing of Air India flight-182, in which all 329 people aboard were killed after Boeing 747 Kanishka disintegrated off the coast of Ireland. In its testimony before Justice Major on May 1, 2007, Air India representatives had stated that despite their clear warning to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police on June 3, 1985, that Sikh extremists had planned to target India’s national carrier with suitcase bombs or suicide squads, the warning was not taken seriously by the Canadian federal police. In his report that he released June 17 in Ottawa, Justice Major agrees with Air India’s contention. While releasing five volumes of his report, running to over 3,000 pages, he referred to the telex Air India had sent about the threat to flight 182. Media has a copy of the telex sent by the Air India office from Bombay (Mumbai) on June 1, 1985 (three weeks before the Air India tragedy) to all its Canadian offices at the time including Toronto, Cairo and Sydney. The telex read: “Assessment of threat received from intelligence agencies reveal the likelihood of sabotage attempts being undertaken by Sikh extremists by placing time/delay devices, etc. in the aircraft or registered baggage. It is also learnt that Sikh extremists are planning to set up suicide squads who may attempt blow up an aircraft by smuggling in of explosives in the registered or carry dash on dash baggage or any other means.” The telex warned local law enforcement agencies that this intelligence information called for “meticulous implementation of counter sabotage measures for flights at all airports”. Accompanied by a forwarding letter, Air India area manager at the airport that time L H Vaney sent the copy of the telex to officer-in-charge of the RCMP (Toronto International Airport) on June 3 suggesting “the contents of the telex are self-explanatory, and we would appreciate your arranging for suitable action to be taken in this matter”. The report has stated that the Canadian security had received ample intelligence for it to act on time. ‘There was a great deal of information available to the CSIS (Canadian Security Intelligence Service) and the RCMP before the bombing of Air India Flight 182 that should have called for enhanced security procedures and vigilance,” Justice Major said while releasing the report. “And those warnings were not taken seriously.” He also said the Air India telex of June 1, 1985, was “not seen (by the CSIS)… because the telex was not passed on to anyone by the RCMP…” The Commission had questioned the RCMP and the CSIS in May 2007 why the Air India telex was “not in the CSIS documents even though there are thousands of other documents?” Commission Attorney Anil Kapoor quoted the RCMP saying that it had not passed the telex on to the CSIS because of “oversight”. Justice John Major said it was “surprising that that would be the explanation — oversight for something as dire as that”. It is a sad revelation that after receiving such a serious warning from Air India, the only action the RCMP reportedly took was to ask the CSIS for a new threat assessment on the airline, but reportedly “neglected to hand over the critical information provided by Air India”, Justice Major said. He also stated the negligence by the CSIS, which had responded to the telex saying their “assessment indicated there was no specific threat against Air India” and even criticised Air India of “crying wolf”. In his report Justice Major has been severely critical of the RCMP and CSIS. “The view of Canadian officials prior to the bombing that government-owned Air India was ‘crying wolf’ in order to obtain additional security for free was MISGUIDED.”

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Matthew Paulson