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39 years of Kanishka Bombing: Indian Consulate General in Vancouver to organize memorial service for victims

On June 23, 1985, Air India Flight 182 exploded off the Irish coast, killing all 329 on board, including 86 children. To honor the victims, the Indian Consulate in Vancouver will hold a memorial on June 23, 2024, at Stanley Park’s Ceperley Playground. This event marks the 39th anniversary of the tragedy and stands against terrorism

39 years of Kanishka Bombing: Indian Consulate General in Vancouver to organize memorial service for victims ATG
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First Published Jun 19, 2024, 11:52 AM IST

On June 23, 1985, Air India Flight 182, traveling from Canada to India via London, tragically exploded off the coast of Ireland, resulting in the deaths of all 329 passengers and crew members, including 86 children. To commemorate this somber event, the Indian Consulate General in Vancouver has organized a memorial service on June 23, 2024. The service will take place at 6:30 PM at the Air India Memorial located in Stanley Park’s Ceperley Playground are

The Indian Consulate General emphasized India’s commitment to combating terrorism and highlighted the significance of this memorial service on the 39th anniversary of what remains one of the deadliest terror-related air disasters in civil aviation history. The consulate has called upon the Indian diaspora in Vancouver to attend the event and demonstrate solidarity against terrorism.

Details of the June 23, 1985 Incident

Air India Flight 182 was destroyed by a bomb hidden in a suitcase, which detonated while the plane was en route from Canada to India. The bomb-laden suitcase was loaded onto the aircraft despite its owner not boarding the flight. Among the victims were 24 Indian nationals, while the majority of the 268 Canadian victims were of Indian descent.

Post-Bombing Actions and the Role of Pierre Elliott Trudeau

The incident strained India-Canada relations, particularly due to actions taken by Pierre Elliott Trudeau, former Prime Minister of Canada and father of current Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Pierre Trudeau refused to extradite Talwinder Singh Parmar, believed to be the mastermind behind the bombing, who had fled to Canada after being implicated in the killing of two police officers in Punjab in 1981.

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Indian intelligence had reportedly warned Canadian authorities on June 1, 1985, about a potential terrorist attack on an Air India flight by Khalistani extremists. This warning was allegedly ignored, leading to the bombing on June 23, 1985.

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Despite arrests made in connection to the bombing, including that of Talwinder Singh Parmar, most suspects were eventually released. Inderjit Singh Reyat was the only individual convicted, receiving a 15-year prison sentence.

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