Kanishka bombing inquiry report ready: Canadian panel

Rescue workers collecting the debris of Air India plane Kanishka crash. File photoHeaded by former Canadian chief justice John Major, the commission of inquiry said it has completed the final report to be submitted to the government.

All 329 people aboard Air India Kanishka flight 182 from Montreal to Delhi were killed in a mid-air bomb explosion off the Irish coast on June 23, 1985.

A bomb meant for another Air India flight from Tokyo to Mumbai killed two people the same day at Tokyo's Narita airport during the transfer of the luggage which contained the bomb.

Both the bombs had originated in Vancouver and were planted by Sikh radicals to avenge the India Army action at the Golden Temple - the holiest Sikh shrine - in June 1984.

A Vancouver court acquitted two suspects - Ajaib Singh Bagri and Ripudaman Singh Malik - in March 2005, though it named the Sikh radicals for the plot against Air India.

The acquittals led to pressure on the Canadian government to set up a public inquiry in May 2006 to hear the families of the victims and recommend legislative and policy changes to avert future terror attacks.

In a statement, the commission of inquiry said it has completed the drafting of its final report, only "pre-publication work remaining before the report is printed and submitted to the prime minister". 

Commission spokesperson Michael Tansey said the report "will be released later this year".

"We are now entering the production phase which includes a National Security review by relevant government agencies and departments, translation, layout and printing."

Asked what action the report will recommend to the government, Tansey said: "It is up to the government to determine what it does with the recommendations in the report. The report will cover all of the areas that are included in the Commission's mandate".

He said the five-volume report will be issued in English and French.

The commission had presented at an interim report in December 2007 on the heart-wrenching testimonies of the families of the victims.

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