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New leads spell fresh hope for Kanishka victims

world Updated: Jun 20, 2010 16:29 IST

IANS
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With 20 Canadian investigators still actively pursuing leads in the Air India Kanishka bombing case, the victim families have not abandoned their hope to see the guilty brought to justice.

Only Inderjit Singh Reyat - who admitted his role in the bomb that blew off the Montreal-Delhi flight 182 near the Irish coast June 23, 1985, killing all passengers, mostly Indo-Canadians - has been convicted for the bombing. Two other suspects - Ajaib Singh Bagri and Ripudaman Singh Malik - were acquitted in 2005 for lack of evidence even the verdict said the bombs were planted by Vancouver-based Khalistani elements.

The inquiry report released Thursday has thrown up new leads which could be helpful in the on-going criminal investigation.

One important source for the investigators is a witness called 'Mr G' who wanted to talk to the inquiry commission in 2007 but was stopped by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police who didn't want to jeopardise their ongoing criminal investigations.

The inquiry report describes 'Mr G' as "an important figure in the Sikh extremist movement (in Canada) in 1985 who is believed to have knowledge about the Air India bombing.''

According to the inquiry report, 'Mr G' has expressed his willingness to help in the on-going criminal investigations into the bombing plot.

"Bringing those responsible to justice for the bombing must always remain a priority and every possible avenue should be explored, regardless of the timing or the reasons for the initial probing,'' Justice John Major says in his report.

Though the victim families have welcomed the inquiry report for blaming the Canadian government for their tragedy, they say justice will be done only when the guilty are brought to justice.