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.