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Canada to compensate AI Kanishka victims

IANS
Jun 18, 2010 at 10:42am IST

Toronto: The Canadian government said on Thursday it will apologise to the families of 329 victims of the 1985 Air India Kanishka bombing and pay further compensation to them.

The decision comes after the John Major Commission report earlier in the day on the causes of the bombing blasted the government and its various agencies for failing to stop the plot hatched by Khalistani elements seeking revenge for the 1984 army action at the Golden Temple. All 329 people aboard Kanishka flight 182 from Montreal to Delhi were killed when it was blown off mid-air near the Irish coast June 23, 1985.

Though the Canadian government has paid $ 20 million to the families in an out-of-court settlement with them, inquiry head John Major recommended a special fund to compensate the families further. "The families, in some ways, have often been treated as adversaries, as if they had somehow brought calamity upon themselves. The time to right that historical wrong is now,'' the report said.

Reacting to the report, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said his government will take steps to implement recommendations of the report.

The prime minister, whose Conservative Party government ordered the probe, said, he hoped it will "bring closure to those who still grieve and to ensure that measures are taken to prevent such a tragedy in the future.

"We thank Commissioner Major for his work and once again extend our deepest sympathies to the families and friends for the loved ones they lost. Our prayers are with them on this day.''

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