TORONTO: Families of the 329 victims of the 1985 Air India Kanishka bombing have rejected the Canadian government’s one-time compensation offer of 24,000 dollars for each person killed in the country’s worst terror attack, saying it was “insulting”.
The offer of a one-time ex-gratia payment was made at a meeting in Toronto last week attended in person and via teleconference by about 40 family members of the victims. The Canadian government announced the 24,000 dollar ex-gratia as recommended by the Air India inquiry commission, headed by former Canadian chief justice John Major.
Kanishka flight 182 from Montreal to Delhi was blown off near Ireland on June 23, 1985, killing all 329 people on board, mostly of Indian origin. This was the worst terror case in the country’s history.
“We are just seething,” Anil Singh Hanse, an Australian whose father Narendra piloted the flight, was quoted as saying by the Vancouver Sun. “This is insulting. Where the hell did they pull this figure from?”
Major suggested some form of payment be made to families in his massive Air India inquiry report in June 2010, although he made no official recommendation.
The USD 32-million inquiry showed that numerous warning signs of the pending terrorist attack were missed by Canada’s security agency and that missteps hampered the subsequent Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) investigation.