OTTAWA, March 21, 2005
Federal police and intelligence officers didn't do a very
good job of investigating the 1985 Air India bombing, and
Ottawa hasn't yet shut the door on a public inquiry, says
a cabinet minister with deep roots in the Indo-Canadian
community. Health Minister Ujjal Dosanjh pointed to the
destruction of key wiretap evidence that later hampered
efforts to bring the suspected perpetrators of the bombing
"If you remember the episode regarding the erasure
of tapes ... I think the RCMP would agree, and CSIS would
agree, that they didn't do the finest of jobs on this issue
to begin with," said Dosanjh.
"We didn't have too many police officers from diverse
communities, whether in the RCMP or any of the local police
forces, and CSIS was probably the same."
Dosanjh said both the Mounties and the Canadian Security
Intelligence Service have since improved their performance
in dealing with terrorist activities and minority ethnic
But he signalled that he still wonders whether a public
inquiry into the matter might help clear the air.
Some of the families of Air India victims renewed their
demands for such an inquiry last week, after a criminal
trial resulted in the acquittal of two Sikh-Canadians, Ripudaman
Singh Malik and Ajaib Singh Bagri.
Deputy Prime Minister Anne McLellan was cool to the idea,
saying she would "have to be convinced" that an
inquiry could shed new light on the affair. (CP)