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Air India Kanishka bombing report next week

Exactly 25 years after the Air India Kanishka bombing in 1985, the Canadian commission which investigated the tragedy will table its report on Thursday.

world Updated: Jun 11, 2010 12:19 IST

Exactly 25 years after the Air India Kanishka bombing in 1985, the Canadian commission which investigated the tragedy will table its report on Thursday.

Former Canadian chief justice John Major, who was appointed to head the commission in May 2006, will present his voluminous report on the failures which led to the bombing of the Montreal-to-Delhi Kanishka flight 182 off the Irish coast on June 23, 1985, killing all 329 people on aboard.

Another bomb, meant for another Air India flight, also went off at Tokyo airport the same day, killing two baggage handlers.

As the Air India trial court said, both the bombs were loaded at Vancouver airport in two unaccompanied suitcases which were later transferred to the connecting Air India flight and Tokyo-bound flight at Toronto airport.

"The Final Report of the Commission of Inquiry into the Investigation of the Bombing of Air India Flight 182 will be released in Ottawa on June 17, 2010. Further information on the release will be available shortly," said commission spokesman Michael Tansey.

"Comprising five volumes, the final report runs into 4,000 pages. Along with the report, the commission will also release various academic papers and a number of studies conducted by various people (who appeared at the inquiry)," Tansey told IANS

Inderjit Singh Reyat, who was released last year after spending 15 years in jail, was the only person convicted for the Kanishka bombing blamed on Khalistani extremists seeking revenge for the Indian army action at the Golden Temple to flush out militants in 1984.

Two other suspects - Ajaib Singh Bagri and Ripudaman Singh Malik - were acquitted by the trial court in March 2005.

The verdict created pressure by the families of the victims on the Canadian government to pinpoint the reasons for the worst air tragedy till 9/11, leading to the appointment of the commission under Justice John Major.

During its long inquiry, the commission held public hearings with the families of the victims and called more than 200 witnesses.

The report comes when a Sikh MP has moved a motion in the Canadian parliament to urge the Canadian government to declare the killing of Sikhs in 1984 after Prime Minister Indira Gandhi's assassination by her own Sikh guards as an act of genocide.