45 percent Canadians want apology for Air India bombing

March 4th, 2008 - 12:37 am ICT by admin  

Toronto, March 3 (IANS) Forty-five percent of Canadians surveyed in a poll want the government to apologise to Air India victims for the 1985 bombing that killed 329 people on Kanishka Flight 182 from Toronto to New Delhi. In a survey by Angus Reid Strategies, about 30 percent respondents opposed any apology at all. The survey was carried out last month in which 1,085 people were interviewed.

More than half of them blamed the federal police, the airport security and the nation’s spy agency for the tragedy. Forty-five percent said the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) should be blamed.

Forty-one percent held Transport Canada responsible for the tragedy as it let the bomb that brought down Kanishka be transferred undetected on to Air India Flight 182 at Toronto airport.

Though figures were not available whether respondents viewed it as a Canadian or an India tragedy, or whether race played any role in Canadian response to the tragedy, the Vancouver Sun quoted an Angus Reid representative as saying that results were the same as in the last survey in 2007.

Back then, 48 percent of respondents had regarded the Air India bombing as a Canadian tragedy. Twenty-two percent had said the terrorist attack was “mostly an Indian affair”.

In the last survey, Canadians were split on whether race played - as alleged by the families of the victims - a role in handling the Air India case. While 36 percent said the race issue played a role, 37 percent said it was inconsequential.

On June 23, 1985, a mid-air explosion killed 329 people on board Air India Flight 182.

A public judicial inquiry, headed by former Supreme Court justice John Major, is examining the bombing.

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