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Kanishka families reject compensation

world Updated: Jul 12, 2011 01:37 IST

Air India Kanishka victims' families have rejected the Canadian government's offer of $24,000 each for the 1985 bombing that killed all 329 people on board the plane near the Irish coast.

The Kanishka flight 182 to Delhi from Montreal was blown up mid-air by a bomb planted by Vancouver-based Khalistani radicals after the Indian army action at the Golden Temple in June 1984.

The Canadian government announced the $24,000 ex-gratia during a meeting with families - as recommended by the Air India inquiry commission, headed by former Canadian chief justice John Major, which submitted its report last year.http://www.hindustantimes.com/images/HTPopups/050711/12_07_11pg19b.jpg

A government spokesman said since most victims' families were compensated in the early 1990s, the $24,000 ex-gratia is just "a demonstration of solicitude and recognition for the administrative disdain families experienced over the years following the tragedy".

But the offer - which amounts to $7.9 million in total - enraged victim families who called it insulting to the memory of their loved ones.

"Once more we are treated with disdain. It seems that Indian life is cheap in the eyes of Canadian politicians. This is so degrading," Melbourne-based Anil Singh Hanse, whose father Narendra Singh Hanse was the pilot of the ill-fated plane, told IANS.

He said the victims' families will "pursue this (issue) in an international court as Canada is biased. This is xenophobia at its worst. Canada's politicians need to wake up and stop being in denial".

Hanse denied his family receiving any compensation from Canada.