Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Volume One of Air India Terrorist Attack Report Presented to Parliament

Volume One of the Report of the Commission of Inquiry into the Investigation of the Bombing of Air India Flight 182 was tabled yesterday in the Canadian Parliament.

In the early morning of June 23rd, 1985, Air India Flight 182 flying from Canada to New Delhi was blown apart from a bomb planted by terrorists in Canada, killing all 329 passengers and crew on board. The overwhelming majority of those murdered were Canadian citizens. It is the largest loss of life in Canadian history from a single terrorist attack.

Titled The Families Remember, the Report gives a voice to the loved ones of the victims of Flight 182, those who assisted them, and others directly affected.

In September 2006, the Canadian government launched the Commission of Inquiry to answer unsolved questions about the police investigation into the attack. It is being led by former Supreme Court of Canada Justice John Major, who will issue his final report in the spring of 2008.

Press coverage:
  • Victims' stories find voice in Air India report (Toronto Star, December 12, 2007): "The Irish rescuer who held a dead baby's cheek next to his, the surviving son who lost his father in the explosion and then lost his grief-stricken mother to suicide, and the promising medical student whose life was stolen from her. Those are among the stories recounted in an interim report from the inquiry into the 1985 Air India disaster released yesterday. The report concentrates on the tales of those affected. Early in the hearings, commission chair John Major promised that the stories of the victims' families would find a place in the official record of the inquiry – a pledge fulfilled by the interim report."
  • Air India families felt 'isolated' by Canadian government: inquiry report (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, December 11, 2007): "Grief-stricken families who lost loved ones in the Air India bombing felt the Canadian government did little to help them after the 1985 tragedy, an interim report from the Air India inquiry finds (...) 'A question that lingers among the families and other Canadians is, ''If Air India Flight 182 had been an Air Canada flight with all fair-skinned Canadians, would the government response have been different?'' ' wrote John Major, the head of the Air India inquiry, in the introduction of his report."
  • Air India report recounts victims' stories (Globe and Mail, December 11, 2007): "Indira Kalsi was 21 years old in June 1985. She wanted to be a pharmacy assistant and had expressed the hope that she would one day dispense free medication to the underprivileged people in India. Nayudamma Yevarthy was an internationally renowned scientist, government adviser and academic who was a strong proponent of national economic development and an innovator in the leather sector. Ms. Kalsi and Mr. Yelevarthy had little in common until June 22, 1985. Both perished that day, along with 327 other people — most of them Canadians of Indian decent — when a terrorist's bomb took down Air India Flight 182 off the coast of Ireland."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 7:06 pm

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