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Canada Flag will be lowered half-fly on June 23 in respect of Air India victims

Toronto, Jun 08, 2005
Darshan Malhotra
NRI press

Families of the victims of Air India disaster met with Prime Minister Paul Martin on Tuesday and were told that he will join them at a special remembrance ceremony in Ireland.

NRI, Bal Gupta said, "It's a bit sad that it took 20 years, but it's important."

NRI, Rattan Kalsi, who lost his daughter in the attack, said he wants two things. "I want justice. Give me justice. Give me my daughter back." "We are not looking for revenge or anything like that, it is just that justice should be served," said Sunita Manjania.

Ottawa has already promised to cover part of the travel costs of families who wish to attend. This will be a special commemoration on the 20th anniversary of the carnage on June 23. NRI families to listen to Martin and to get answers about where Ottawa stands on the call for a public inquiry.

On June 23, 1985, Air India Flight 182 from Montreal to London, carrying luggage loaded in Vancouver, exploded and crashed into the Atlantic Ocean 240 kilometers off the coast of Ireland. All 329 people on board were killed.

Fifty-four minutes earlier, a suitcase loaded in Vancouver onto Canadian Airlines Flight 003 exploded in the airport at Narita, Japan. The suitcase was being transferred to Air India Flight 301 to Bangkok and Delhi. Two baggage handlers were killed and four other persons injured.

Ripudaman Singh Malik, Ajaib Singh Bagri, and Inderjit Singh Reyat were arrested in relation to the bombings. In February 2003. Reyat pleaded guilty to manslaughter. NRI families have always demanded an inquiry, but renewed their push in March after a B.C. judge acquitted two NRI men, Ripudaman Singh Malik and Ajaib Singh Bagri, charged in the bombing.

The Air India Trial was the costliest in Canadian history, estimated at about $130 million.

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