School stickers to rectify mistake in Air India case

October 3rd, 2008 - 2:56 pm ICT by IANS  

Toronto, Oct 3 (IANS) The Canadian system, which spent more than $130 million and yet failed to nail the Air India bombers who killed 329 people in 1985, is now spending more. This time, it is producing stickers to tell school students that two of the suspects were acquitted.The government of British Columbia province - where the Air India plot was hatched and the bombs originated - is spending thousands of dollars to produce the stickers that will inform high school students that suspects Ajaib Singh Bagri and Ripudaman Singh Malik were actually acquitted.

The reason: the province’s Historica Foundation had distributed calendars in high schools last year to mark the 150th anniversary of the province. These calendars carried information about landmark events in the history of the province, including the Air India bombing in 1985. The calendar mentioned the arrest of Bagri and Malik in Oct 2000, but didn’t specify their acquittal in 2005.

When this was brought to their notice, the education ministry apologised to Malik and Bagri and decided to spend $55,000 on stickers to correct the mistake.

According to the Vancouver Sun newspaper, school principals will hand-deliver the stickers to grade 11 and 12 students to take home and affix them over an Oct 27 note on the calendar about the arrest of Malik and Bagri on that day in 2000.

The stickers say Malik and Bagri were acquitted in the Air India verdict in 2005.

The government will also bear the cost of mailing the stickers to students who graduated earlier this year.

Quoting an education ministry spokesman, the newspaper says the stickers are being distributed at a cost of $55,000 to correct wrong information about Malik and Bagri.

However, school principals and the provincial teachers’ federation have termed the step laughable and a waste of time and money.

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