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A-I case: Kin depose before panel

Relatives of A-I bombing victims pleaded before the probe panel to evaluate all the issues carefully.

india Updated: Oct 12, 2006 11:31 IST

The Canadian Judicial Commission investigating the 1985 bombing of an Air-India Boeing 747, which killed 329 people has been urged by relatives of the victims to look into various aspects of the tragedy and bring out the truth.

Relatives of two victims pleaded before the Commission, headed by former Supreme Court judge John Major to evaluate all the issues carefully and bring out all the facts, even if they are not complimentary to the Canadian government and its interests.

Rattan Singh Kalsi couldn't keep his voice from breaking as he described the dream of his daughter Indira - to complete her degree in nursing at the University of Guelph, move to the Punjab and open a free dispensary to distribute medicine to the poor.

Instead she perished, along with 328 others, in the worst terrorist attack in Canadian history.

"She wanted to help the very same people who killed her," a media report quoted Kalsi as saying on Wednesday.

Justice Major is examining the bombing of the plane, believed to have been planted by Sikh extremists based in British Columbia. Only one man has ever been convicted in the plot.

"It is unacceptable that Canada should be a safe haven for conducting activities against other governments," said Haranhalli Radhakrishna, who lost his wife, daughter and son in the bombing.

"The first religion of each and every Canadian should be decency and allegiance to Canadian security."

Ann Venketeswaran, whose husband died aboard Flight 182, suggested - as have other witnesses - that Canada's official policy of multiculturalism may have inadvertently contributed to sectarian strife.