Air India inquiry report unlikely this year

November 18th, 2008 - 1:45 pm ICT by IANS  

Toronto, Nov 18 (IANS) Canada’s John Major commission, which completed its inquiry into the 1985 Air India bombing earlier this year, is unlikely to present its report this year. When the commission, headed by former Supreme Court chief justice John Major, wound up its work this February, it was expected to present the final report to the government in the autumn.

With no word yet from the commission, the report may now be presented only next year.

“But the commission never set a date for the release of its report. When we do have anything, we will let you know,” commission spokesman Michael Tansey told IANS.

He said the commission has only said that John Major (the inquiry head) is taking his time to go through all aspects of the report.

“Whenever we have anything, we will post on our web site,” said Tansey.

The commission investigated all aspects of the Air India bombing that killed 329 when the Air India flight 182 from Toronto to New Delhi was brought down by an explosion off the Irish coast June 23, 1985.

The bombing was blamed on Vancouver-based Sikh militants who wanted to avenge the Indian Army action in the Golden Temple to flush out militant preacher Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale and his armed gang in June 1984.

While the plot mastermind Talwinder Singh Parmar, who fled to India, was killed in a shootout in Punjab, the trial of other two suspects- Ajaib Singh Bagri and Ripudaman Singh Malik - ended in their acquittal in March 2005.

Under pressure from the families of the victims, the newly installed Conservative Party government set up the public inquiry commission in May 2006 into the bombing to fix the blame for one of the biggest aviation disasters.

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