Air India Flight 182 – 23 years ago


by Sunny
23rd June, 2008 at 3:29 am    

23 years ago to this day – on June 23rd 1985 – Air India flight 182 blew up enroute from India to Canada to India killing all 329 passengers. All were Canadian citizens. To this date only one person, bombmaker Inderjit Singh Reyat, has been convicted. Conspiracy theories are rife.

Yesterday, this controversial looking film was broadcast on the Canadian channel CBC. I’ve heard that the producers are planning to bring it to the UK too. I’d love to see it.

There was an interesting article in the Canadian Globe and Mail about this tragedy last week. And here’s an article on this film itself.


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  1. enroute

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  1. digitalcntrl — on 23rd June, 2008 at 4:01 am  

    “23 years ago to this day – on June 23rd 1985 – Air India flight 182 blew up enroute from India to Canada killing all 329 passengers.”

    Actually the plane was enroute from Montreal to London then on to India. It blew up somewhere in the Atlantic south of Ireland.

  2. Dalbir — on 23rd June, 2008 at 4:12 am  

    I’ve always wondered about this case. Many years ago I had heard that some investigative journalists suspected Indian governmental involvement in the bombing. Apparently they wrote a book on this subject:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soft_Target_(book)

    I’ve been meaning to read it for some time now. I think I’d better get hold of it now.

  3. Sunny — on 23rd June, 2008 at 4:59 am  

    Thanks for correcting that… thats what happens when you post late at night

  4. Kulvinder — on 23rd June, 2008 at 5:13 am  

    Hoorah the conspiracy theories start within two posts!

  5. Gurpreet2 — on 23rd June, 2008 at 2:29 pm  

    wasn’t that soft target book banned in india?

  6. Parvinder Singh — on 23rd June, 2008 at 2:59 pm  

    Powerful testimony from the victims’ families. The bombing of Air India Flight 182 was one of the most inexcusable crimes ever carried out in recent memory and whoever was behind it should have been brought to justice. Canadians of all faiths, men, women and children, perished in this most despicable and unjustifiable act.

  7. Deep Singh — on 23rd June, 2008 at 3:20 pm  

    Parvinder Singh:

    “whoever was behind it should have been brought to justice”

    Quite right and let’s hope that day will come soon.

    Dalbir:

    “http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soft_Target_(book) I’ve been meaning to read it for some time”

    I recommend that you do, since this book, which is championed by many Sikhs in Canada, belonging to cult groups such as the Akhand Kirtani Jatha (AKJ) and Babbar Khalsa International (BKI) because of the links it exposes about Government of India (GOI) involvement in the affair.

    However, true to form, the BKI and AKJ in their selective reading largely ignore the splendid job the authors of this book have done on explaining, in particular detail I may add, the character and actions of their leading henchman, Talwinder Singh Parmar, one time head of the BKI and a central figure behind the recent problems in Canada over certain Gurdwaras and Sikhs belonging to the above mentioned cult groups together with those of a certain agricultural background who to this day adorn their homes, Gurdwaras (Temples) and Nagar Kirtan (procession floats) with photos of this known terrorist, despite their favourite book (i.e. the one you referenced) clearly illustrating the perverse nature of this individual.

    Kulvinder:

    “Hoorah the conspiracy theories start within two posts!”

    Don’t hold your breath, but the likes of sikhsangat.com and Tapoban.org can supply one with a whole host of vivid and imaginative conspiracy theories.

  8. Kulvinder — on 23rd June, 2008 at 3:34 pm  

    whoever was behind it should have been brought to justice

    One was. Inderjit Singh Reyat was found guilty of his part in the construction of the bomb that exploded in Narita; he subsequently plead guilty – at the trial of Malik and Bagri – to the same charge in relation to the bomb that went off inside the aircraft. The trial of Malik and Bagri collapsed because of insufficient evidence specifically to their contribution; the prosecution and the defence in that trial accepted Parmar was the ring leader, and that it was the action of sikh terrorists.

    Unfortunately the lunatic fringe of sikh extremists still ignore that point.

  9. Dalbir — on 23rd June, 2008 at 7:28 pm  

    I was just highlighting potentially important information guys. Whoever is behind such an atrocity should be severely punished.

    I concede that there were many abuses of humanity during this period on both sides. I’m not here to defend anyone. I just feel the whole thing is so full of murky doings by both sides that I would be cautious about drawing conclusions without factoring this in.

    Anyone from a Sikh background who feels that killing innocent people is justified is simply mad. But apparently a Canadian minister has gone on record to say that he met a double agent (Polish-Canadian) who was planning to blow up another aeroplane at the behest of Indian agencies. How true this is, I do not know. I think the guys name was David Kilgour.

  10. Dalbir — on 23rd June, 2008 at 11:44 pm  

    That link to the book is wrong: Here is the correct one.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soft_Target_%28book%29

    Soft Target: How the Indian Intelligence Service Penetrated Canada is an investigative journalism work in the form of a book written by two Canadian reporters Zuhair Kashmeri (from Globe and Mail) & Brian McAndrew (from Toronto Star). The authors define Soft Target as “an espionage term used for any country, institution or group of people very easy to penetrate and manipulate for subversive purposes “[1] and argue that the Canadian Sikh community was a “Soft Target” of a covert operation by the Indian government during the 1980s. The book also makes a bold claim that Indian intelligence agencies not only penetrated the Sikh community in order to discredit them world wide and halt the momentum of the demand of an independent Sikhs state, but also manipulated the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS)[1].

  11. kELvi — on 23rd June, 2008 at 11:58 pm  

    Not that it matters less or more, whether they were Canadian or Indian. Some of those who were killed that day were Indian. Among them Dr. Nayudamma, Director Central Leather Research Insitute, Madras; and fashion model Inder Thakur, whom I met for the first and last time at the offices of Indian Express the week before. Even now this outrage is rarely reported among the major acts of terrorism of our time, not even when we find a report on Lockerbie. It is a vile and despicable act to cook up conspiracy theories around this horrific event. Sikhs too persihed in the attack. Some of the many Sikhs in Canada who condemned the terrorists for this vile deed – journalists, politicians, and others – courageously stood up to threats and violence from terrorists.

    [The book also makes a bold claim that Indian intelligence agencies not only penetrated...] and yeah, the Apollo landings were faked, there’s a secret plan in the GM vault for a car that can give 100 MPG, there are UFOs, Atlantis exists, and so on….

  12. Dalbir — on 24th June, 2008 at 12:53 am  

    ——–
    It is a vile and despicable act to cook up conspiracy theories around this horrific event.
    ——–

    I wouldn’t pay attention if some of the information wasn’t coming from people unrelated to and indifferent to the Khalistani movement.

    Maybe you’re right and it is bullshit – maybe you’re wrong and there is something behind this. But please don’t act like you know exactly what happened – none of us do. Maybe we will soon.

  13. Kulvinder — on 24th June, 2008 at 2:07 am  

    But apparently a Canadian minister has gone on record to say that he met a double agent (Polish-Canadian) who was planning to blow up another aeroplane at the behest of Indian agencies. How true this is, I do not know. I think the guys name was David Kilgour.

    … But please don’t act like you know exactly what happened – none of us do. Maybe we will soon.

    Apparently 9/11 was a government conspiracy.

    I’m not one to be overly sentimental about the past, but the very least those that died deserve is some semblance of sanity when attempting to understand what happened. There was no Indian conspiracy with the backing of Polish-Canadians or anyone else. Those people died because of Sikh extremists – Sikh extremists that acted of their own volition.

    Two trials took place over the bombings either trial offered an opportunity for these phantom conspiracies to be put to test; neither trial revolved around or even mentioned anything like this.

    Both the prosecution and the defence at both trials agreed about the events that led to the bombings and the fact Sikh extremists carried them out.

    Whats the conspiracy behind not mentioning the conspiracy in open court?

  14. digitalcntrl — on 24th June, 2008 at 3:42 am  

    “Hoorah the conspiracy theories start within two posts!”

    Consipracy theories are often feeble attempts to rehabilitae extremist groups. 9/11 was a clear example of that. Even the Oklahoma City Bombings were the same. The right wing lunatics behind Timothy McVeigh attempted to distance themselves from that event by saying that the govt blew up its own buildings.

    “Maybe you’re right and it is bullshit – maybe you’re wrong and there is something behind this”

    Maybe aliens from the planet Zenu came to Earth and blew up the plane. Hey you never know, there might be something behind this.

    “I wouldn’t pay attention if some of the information wasn’t coming from people unrelated to and indifferent to the Khalistani movement.”

    What movement? Seems pretty dead to me.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/3733271.stm

  15. deep singh — on 24th June, 2008 at 9:44 am  

    Kulvinder:

    “Two trials took place over the bombings either trial offered an opportunity for these phantom conspiracies to be put to test; neither trial revolved around or even mentioned anything like this”

    Absolutely.

    Dalbir, as I mentioned above, when you do get the book, skim straight to the chapter devoted to Talwinder Singh Parmar and read the details in full – all of these facts concerning Parmar’s activities and behaviours will have undoubtedly come out during the trials, however the various conspiracy theories concerning some sinister Polish-Canadian-GOI agenda to distort the image of the Sikhs, as Kulvinder as highlighted did not, instead groups like the AKJ, BKI and Damdami Taksal (DDT) have done quite a splendid job of destroying the image of the Sikhs through their sponsorship of terrorism last century and continual support for known terrorists such as Parmar.

    Please let us know what you make of the Book’s chapter on Parmar and his behaviour and whether you endorse such actions and moreover are supportive of the continual use of his name and image within Gurdwaras and Sikh events, where young and impressionable Sikh children born in the West are taught that Parmar is a ‘living martyr’ and a shining example of what it means to be a ‘true Sikh’.

    It may interest you to know that the infamous sikhsangat.com were also a cause of disruption in the trial when they (i.e. 18-year old ‘adults’) divulged the identity of key witnesses, but then again with people like Malik’s own son working behind the scenes of the website together with his young self-proclaimed ‘fascist for gurmat’ comrades from California, it is hardly surprising what kids with a lot of time on their hands and raised within a cult environment will end up doing – sorry, I forgot, these are the “voice of Sikh youth”.

  16. Indrak — on 24th June, 2008 at 1:10 pm  

    I did wonder when party to hearing about the indian gov’t's covert role in the case of punjab, whether it was credible for it to be so uniquely bad.
    Then a quick survey of how gov’ts everywhere carry out their dealings: Colombia, Algeria, carrying out attrocities in the name of muslims, by russians in the guise of chechyans, Turkey/kurds,
    the british infiltration into groups in Ireland to the point of complicity,
    Italian AgentProvoc.s exiting from police vehicles at Genova G8 to blame Blackblock (yet the ones they chose to attack in their sleep were anything but..), S Korean forces against their civillians,
    Australian/Canadian ‘surveillance’ even more more so now, to the point of supplying material to deludeds in the name of apprehending terror plots,
    fake-encounters ongoing in india + pakistan.

    Anyone who chooses to label these as conspiracies in line with the absurd is a cog, possibly willing, of reactionism.
    After 911, suddenly an attack on parliament in india, and yet they knew immediately who it was, and there was POTA.
    And back to punjab: since everything in the news since 911 is like a very 2nd-rate film, the template for it was the GOI’s initial support of bhinderanwala – his resemblence to bin Laden…

    And so the ‘extremists’ are twats: big deal, what a revelation. Tell that to nationalists everywhere.

  17. kELvi — on 24th June, 2008 at 1:17 pm  

    Conspiracy theories surrounding acts of great violence such as this one have one thing in common. Those who push them express no remorse or at best shed crocodile tears for the ones who perished.

  18. Nav — on 24th June, 2008 at 1:42 pm  

    Deep Singh:

    those of a certain agricultural background who to this day adorn their homes, Gurdwaras (Temples) and Nagar Kirtan (procession floats) with photos of this known terrorist, despite their favourite book (i.e. the one you referenced) clearly illustrating the perverse nature of this individual.

    Oh?

    Pray tell…

  19. Deep Singh — on 24th June, 2008 at 2:00 pm  

    kELvi:

    “Those who push them express no remorse or at best shed crocodile tears for the ones who perished”

    So true – I have previously raised the issue of Khalistani violence on this forum and enquired about the murder of Baljit Kaur, whom the DDT have on occasion accounted for as being under the orders of their one time leader “Sant Baba Jarnail Singh Bindranwale” for her having supposed ‘led him astray’.

    Those unfamiliar with the case will be shocked by the horrid nature of her death – a murder which to date remains ‘unresolved’, however a mere cursory glance at many Sikh websites will show that Sikh youth (predominantly based in the UK and Canada) who support the AKJ and/or DDT not only provide ‘rationale’ for the acceptability of her murder, but also condone such acts – so even ‘crocodile tears’ are too much to ask from these morons.

    It is surprisingly easy to find comments to the effect that “we (the Sikhs belonging to their cult) are above the law, since we are an independent ‘race’ and sovreign people”, the striking resemblance of such rhetoric to many nationalistic and fascist organisations of the 20th century will not sadly surprise most of those who are in any way engaged in the academic study of the Sikhs, where the vast majority of scholars from the World’s most reputable universities are typically wholly impressed and awe stuck by the writings of the Sikh Gurus and the achievements of historical Sikh figures and utterly horrified at the state of the present day community and their sorry decline into drunken pro-Jatt supremacy and revisionist fascist religiousity at the hands of groups like the AKJ, BKI and DDT.

  20. Indrak — on 24th June, 2008 at 2:02 pm  

    #17:
    are you the judge of any and everyone’s ‘remorse’ for an act that a 3rd party committed?
    -and in this causal relationship you declare as axiomatic: how do the parameters change exactly at the point of the violence being ‘great’?

  21. Dalbir — on 24th June, 2008 at 6:58 pm  

    Look, I don’t think some people here are understanding where I’m coming from. I don’t know much about Parmar et al. Frankly I don’t care. I’ve said that both sides committed heinous acts. As an individual I’m more critical of the “Sikhs” that did so because they should have known better. Besides it is a well known fact that the so-called Khalistani movement was/is[?] heavily infiltrated on all fronts.

    But that doesn’t detract from the fact that this is a seriously murky affair and that governments have always used underhand tactics to malign perceived enemies. Sometimes they demonise them in an attempt to bolster support.

    All I’m saying is that I personally would tred carefully before drawing any solid conclusions. I don’t discount some nutcase fringe element of the Sikh community might have been behind this bombing. BUT I also don’t discount the fact that forces on the other side may have had a hand in the matter. It doesn’t help that rumours float around of Parmar or at least some of his close associates being government agents.

    What is an additional sad aspect of all this mess is that once again common everyday Joe Sikhs like myself and millions of others will be associated with acts that rightly disgust any decent human beings.

    For the record I find the hot headed, fire brand, reactionary “Sikh leaders” disgusting. Innocent lives being extinguished like in the bombing and false encounters are not something I take lightly. I see them as an attack on decent humanity (insaaniyat.) Kelvi I hope your not implying I’m shedding crocodile tears.

    I’m not suggesting a conspiracy theory but merely acknowledging that this situation MAY be one that is a little less black and white than it appears on the surface.

    A big question regards whether this Canadian MP David Kilgour was telling the truth about the other plot to blow up a plane he encountered. Also why a number of Indian officials canceled flights at very short notice. This could all be a red herring or it may not.

    That’s all I want to say on the matter.

  22. Mangles — on 24th June, 2008 at 10:09 pm  

    ‘Former spies can bare and tell no more’

    Ajay Banerjee – Tribune News Service: New Delhi, June 23

    ” Facing embarrassment after several former spymasters from the Intelligence Bureau (IB) and the Research & Analysis Wing (RAW) authored books exposing the shortcomings of various governments in the past, the Government of India has now issued a notification to muzzle the former spies.”

    The news story continues: . . . .

    ” For example, the books by former Director IB, Ajit Doval, are considered the most authentic view on the Kandhar hijack in 1999 and also the operation Black Thunder conducted at the Golden temple, Amritsar, in 1988. The book “Open Secrets” by former Joint Director IB M.K. Dhar blames the Congress for terrorism in Punjab and reveals the intrigues of the Indira Gandhi government.”

  23. Kulvinder — on 24th June, 2008 at 11:58 pm  

    Indrak could you repharse #16 as i have no idea what you were trying to say. Mangles i assume you’re willing to follow up how that is meant to relate to the air india bombing.

    I’m not suggesting a conspiracy theory but merely acknowledging that this situation MAY be one that is a little less black and white than it appears on the surface.

    You are suggesting a conspiracy, you’re just not admitting it to yourself.

  24. Indrak — on 25th June, 2008 at 1:01 am  

    #23 ok it was crammed;
    basically, on balance gov.ts’ complicity in / instigation of ‘terrorism’ [=enemy that is about 20 times weaker] is significant – on balance far greater than is suffered.

    -To deny and seek to marginalize by equating to absurd conspiracies is to be actively or passively reactionary.

  25. Sunny — on 25th June, 2008 at 2:22 am  

    But that doesn’t detract from the fact that this is a seriously murky affair and that governments have always used underhand tactics to malign perceived enemies. Sometimes they demonise them in an attempt to bolster support.

    I agree with that.

    Kulvinder – well, surely a conspiracy theory will mean that there is an official and verifiable version of events somewhere?

    That the Indian govt engaged in subversive activities is without doubt. Now, there’s no need for an online witch-hunt whereby if a person says nothng is black and white, then they’re labelled a crank.

  26. Vikrant — on 25th June, 2008 at 3:25 am  

    so Sunny you are suggesting that government of India possibly destroyed its own plane and murdered its own citizens to merely discredit the Khalistanis? To think that RAW penetrated RCMP is kinda inconceivable given the agency’s famous ineptitude. Plus wasnt a key defence witness killed in 1998 or something? That pretty much nails the case for me.

  27. KSingh — on 25th June, 2008 at 7:34 am  

    An interesting news item below. ‘The book “Open Secrets” by former Joint Director IB M.K. Dhar blames the Congress for terrorism in Punjab and reveals the intrigues of the Indira Gandhi government’

    Former spies can bare and tell no more
    Ajay Banerjee
    Tribune News Service

    New Delhi, June 23
    Facing embarrassment after several former spymasters from the Intelligence Bureau (IB) and the Research & Analysis Wing (RAW) authored books exposing the shortcomings of various governments in the past, the Government of India has now issued a notification to muzzle the former spies.

    The formal notification bans officers from sharing their experiences through writings or through the electronic media. The terse notification issued by the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) lists out around a dozen organisations about which books cannot be written in future. The notification was circulated in the South Block and the North Block last week and has sent ripples across the corridors of power.

    Now, the officers cannot write about the functioning of these organisations, their character and the role played by them in various operations over the years. An officer, before retiring or on being repatriated to his parent cadre, will have to given a written undertaking that he/she will not reveal anything known during the course of his job.

    In the past few years, books by the former spy operatives – all senior officers – exposed the political classes and pointed out at glaring errors in handling various crisis faced by the government in the past. Some of these books are regularly quoted and are accepted as an authentic view of the happenings in India’s recent history.

    For example, the books by former Director IB, Ajit Doval, are considered the most authentic view on the Kandhar hijack in 1999 and also the operation Black Thunder conducted at the Golden temple, Amritsar, in 1988. The book “Open Secrets” by former Joint Director IB M.K. Dhar blames the Congress for terrorism in Punjab and reveals the intrigues of the Indira Gandhi government. Maj Gen V.K. Singh (retd), who served in the RAW during the Kargil war, is behind bars for violating the Official Secrets Act. He questioned the NDA government’s sagacity behind making public the telephonic conversation between then Pakistan Army chief General Pervez Musharraf and his Chief of Staff, intercepted by the RAW during the 1999 Kargil war. Another joint director of RAW, B Raman, penned a telling account in his book “The Kaoboys of RAW”, so did RAW chief K. Shankaran Nair who also raised uncomfortable questions in his book.

  28. deep singh — on 25th June, 2008 at 10:03 am  

    The basic point that the pro-Khalistanis seem to keep missing is; If the Government (of India) committed crimes, it needs to be held accountable, however how does that in any way excuse Parmar for his perverse actions, how is the Government at fault for the internal communal issues in Canada and UK, from the murder and intimidation of various non-Khalistani Sikhs and later key witnesses to the trial through to actions that occurred in India such as the BKI opening fire on the DDT (yes, the much loved Sukhdev Singh Babbar, incidentally also a Polygamist, opened fire on Jarnail Singh Bindranwale, head of the Damdami Taksal) through to the masses of Sikhs killed or threatened at gunpoint at the hands of these ‘living martyrs’? It is common knowledge that Punjab today is undergoing mass-apostasy insofar as Sikhs are concerned, despite the presence of the AKJ, DDT and Sant Samaj in just about every corner of every field – ever wondered why this maybe the case?

    Of course, the Khalistanis will come back and accuse me of being a GOI or RSS agent and jump up and down about the progroms carried out by the GOI, however sorry to say boys and girls, that line of reasoning isn’t going to work – the GOI certainly needs to brought to account, however if you really think by plastering pictures of terrorists like Parmar over your home, Gurdwaras and ‘sunday school’ walls is going to somehow assist in raising awareness of this issue or implore the international community to pressure the GOI into accounting for their role in the crimes of 1980s – be they in India or abroad, think again.

    It really is high time for you all (particularly the Canadian and UK variety) to wake up and smell the roses!

  29. Mark — on 25th June, 2008 at 10:32 am  

    Punjab today is undergoing mass-apostasy insofar as Sikhs are concerned

    It depends on your definition of ‘apostasy’.

    Apostasy as a concrete concept is acutally alien to Sikhi, and only espoused by those whom you deride: Khalistani theocrats.

    Shot yourself in the nuts there deepa.

  30. Parvinder Singh — on 25th June, 2008 at 12:10 pm  

    I don’t subscribe to conspiracy theories unless there is hard evidence and the trial and subsquent Commission of Inquiry into the Air India Flight 182 tradegy concluded it being the work of Sikh terrorists as people have already stated here. It is also common knowledge that Indian Intelligence and the Punjab Police infiltrated Sikh militant groups in the 80s and outfits like Babbar Khalsa, most favoured and armed by Pakistan intelligence, on the one hand, appearing to championing the ’cause’ of Sikhs, whilst murdering members of other militant groups in India (testmonies recorded by Joyce Pettrigrew in her book, Sikhs and the Punjab).

    Nevertheless, I do feel that there are some unanswered questions relating to the 1985 plane bombing which the Commision of Inquiry should have looked into to dispel once and for all any conspiracy (maybe they did?). People here have noted the ‘Soft Target’ book, which raises some uncomfortable questions both of the role of Indian intelligence and also the role of so called militants like Parmar. No one comes out good in all of this.

    One suggest theory is that it is possible there was no bomb on the plane. See below the Canda and Indian accident report:

    ‘Air India Flight 182 23 June 1985, 120 miles south of the Irish Coast, from Toronto, Canada to London. 31000 feet, 1/4 second muffled sound then 40 millisecond sharp bang, data recorder abrupt halt, bodies missing sat in front of plane, vanished from radar screens, forward cargo hold suspect area, pathologist states victims died from decompression, no evidence of bomb or explosive device. Official explanation: bomb. ‘

    ‘Explanation for Air India Flight 182: Boeing 747 high time aircraft kept below 300 knots until nearing end of flight when airspeed crept up to 296 and door popped, nose separated, aircraft fell into sea. Cargo door found with fuselage skin attached but dropped on retrieval. No evidence of bomb residue, sound matched decompression of DC 10, and other evidence indicated explosive decompression in flight.’
    from: http://www.montereypeninsulaairport.com/800summary.html

    The theory goes that the ‘Forward cargo doors have been opening inadvetently in flight in high time in some Boeing 747s.’

    ‘Cargo door inadvertently opened on the ground during UAL preflight in 1991 and no damage was done. Cargo door opened in flight two inches on PA 125 in 1987 and stayed attached to fuselage and only damage was cost of fuel dumped. Cargo door opened in flight for UAL 811 in 1989 and nine died when door tore off. Cargo door explanation for AI 182, PA 103, and TWA 800 has door opening inflight, tearing off, and then nose tearing off leading to three similar accident wreckage patterns, debris fields and total destruction. Door openings have different consequences depending on altitude, speed and mode of flight.
    4. Yes, not a bomb for AI 182 and PA 103 as initial event. Evidence refutes bomb explanation and is in government accident reports’
    http://www.montereypeninsulaairport.com/Boeing%20747.html

    John Barry Smith is stated as an ‘independent Aircraft Accident Investigator’ who notes in his report: ‘the probable cause of the accident to Air India Flight 182 was faulty wiring shorting on the door unlatch motor causing the forward cargo door to inadvertently rupture open in flight probably at one or both of the midspan latches leading to an explosion of explosive decompression in the forward cargo compartment and subsequent aircraft breakup’.
    http://64.233.183.104/search?q=cache:S0cIHcoPq5cJ:www.ntsb.org/Wiringcargodoorlite/home_files/SmithAAR182.pdf+Air+Accidents+Investigation+Branch+into+Air+India+Flight+182&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=8

    I cannot rerify whether this chap’s report is indeed genuine or independent, so I ask anyone whether they can shed any light on this and stop me turning into a Jim Garrision (Kevin Costner in JFK !).

  31. Deep Singh — on 25th June, 2008 at 3:27 pm  

    Mark wrote:

    “It depends on your definition of ‘apostasy’. Apostasy as a concrete concept is acutally alien to Sikhi, and only espoused by those whom you deride: Khalistani theocrats. Shot yourself in the nuts there deepa.”

    My comments were addressing the Khalistanis, hence even if we work using your logic for a second, then my comments still hold (i.e. by the Khalistani’s own definition of apostasy, it is rife across Punjabi despite their active presence and preaching for over past several decades – i.e. their efforts, direct or indirect have not only been unsuccessful but infact contributing to the growing apostasy).

    Quite how you reach the conclusion that “Apostasy as a concrete concept is acutally alien to Sikhi” I am not sure, let alone to attribute this entirely to the Khalistanis, who granted have their own branded version of most things and hence of apostasy too.

    This is an English language forum, so I have chosen to appropriate English word to bring across my point, wherein Apostasy can be defined as “the formal abandonment or renunciation of one’s religion” and “in a technical sense, as used sometimes by sociologists without the pejorative connotations of the word, the term refers to renunciation and criticism of, or opposition to one’s former religion”.

    Now returning to Sikhi, the term ‘patit’ or its variations (i.e. one who trangresses from Sikh rites) can be found in all Sikh rehitnama literature from the late 1700s onwards and has been enshrined in the Sikh Rehit Maryada since 1925.

    There is ample commentary available in religious and secular sources concerning the actions of a significant portion of the Sikh community in Punjab over the past two decades engaging in activities which would certainly qualify them as ‘patits’ or ‘apostates’ in line with the use of these terms by the governning Sikh body, supported by various Sikh historical literature spanning over 3 centuries – whether this understanding of ‘apostasy’ or a ‘patit’ is what you or me would like to understand by the term in a Judeo-Christian sense or by viritue of our personal ‘opinions’ really has no bearing on the point I was raiseing and frankly is little more than arguing over semantics.

    If you have an issue with the underlying point I have raised, please do ask away.

    Finally, Mark, my name is not “deepa”.

  32. KSingh — on 26th June, 2008 at 7:26 am  

    Shocking report , but nothing new. This will be swept under the carpet as have all the previous reports.

    ‘Thousands die’ in India custody
    By Chris Morris
    BBC News, Delhi

    Most custody deaths are a result of torture, the group says (Photo: Prashant Ravi)
    A new report by a human rights group says nearly 7,500 people have died in official custody in India over the last five years.

    The report by Delhi-based Asian Centre for Human Rights says many of these people were tortured in custody.

    It says the Indian government is in a state of denial about torture.

    Even when action is taken against officials who are accused of wrongdoing, the report argues, the system tries to cover up any crimes.

    The rights group has collated official figures and found that 7,468 people – that is four people every day – have died in prison or police custody since 2002.

    Appalling

    Nearly all the deaths, it says, were the result of torture.

    But the government routinely attributes deaths in custody to illness, attempted escape, suicide and accidents.

    Suhas Chakma, director of the Asian Centre for Human Rights, says prosecuting responsible officials takes a long time in India, and leads to a “culture of impunity”.

    “It takes about 25 – 30 years to prosecute somebody. And by that time many of the accused are dead, or possibly the relatives that have filed a complaint are dead,” he said.

    “So there is a culture of impunity which is given by the government of India, and I think this is the single most important factor which is encouraging torture.”

  33. Kulvinder — on 26th June, 2008 at 6:50 pm  

    One suggest theory is that it is possible there was no bomb on the plane.

    And once again: there were two trials, at the first trial one man was found guilty in relation to the bomb that exploded at Narita airport, at the second trial that same man plead guilty in relation to the bomb that went off inside the aircraft.

    Now i realise there are innumerable websites that say there was no bomb on the plane that was bombed by the indian government; or any number of other mutually incompatible statements. But to save me the time of looking has anyone dealt with the conspiracy behind why the conspiracies weren’t mentioned during two seperate trials held years apart?

    Specifically dealing with your points though, and quoting directly from the second verdict judgement.

    None of the remnants of the explosive device which brought down the Kanishka was recovered. Such remnants, however, were recovered from the blast scene in Narita. Thorough and exacting forensic evidence was a significant factor leading to the manslaughter conviction of Inderjit Singh Reyat for his part in the construction of that explosive device. During the course of this trial, he pled guilty to the same offence for playing a similar role in relation to the Air India Flight 182 explosion.

    Noone has ever denied that recovery of evidence from over a mile underwater was practically impossible, the Canadian prosecutors weren’t stupid enough to base their case against Reyat in relation to the aircraft on evidence that hadn’t been recovered. Nevertheless they had enough forensic evidence against Reyat for him to plead guilty in relation to the bomb on the aircraft.

  34. Davidy — on 30th June, 2008 at 3:00 pm  

    Hello to those who are connecting with the film. I am the producer, but have been out of email range for a week, and therefore not available to weigh in on the comments above.

    First… there is no doubt that it was a bomb that destroyed Air India 182. For anyone who is interested I can point to references on request.

    Second, on the topic of intelligence penetration of the plot that brought down the aircraft… Look, this is ultimately unknowable as hard fact, but I am happy to address the two possibilities that are suggested out there.

    1) One of the plotters (who BTW lives TODAY in Southall and has NEVER talked) was an agent of Canadian intelligence. No names. This man was clearly centrally involved – purportedly he was meant to deliver the bombs to the airport that morning – but for whatever reason pulled out of the plot a couple of days before. He wrote a resignation letter to Babbar Khalsa dated the day previous. It had been suggested that CDN intelligence pulled him out to so as not to be directly involved in the bombing. This suggestion has its roots in a released RCMP (police) interrogation transcript of another suspect following the bombing, where this fellow was named, and it was suggested that he was an intelligence source. The problem with this story is that at that time RCMP were very much in the dark about CDN intelligence activities, had only a very sketchy understanding of their intelligence sources and methods, and most importantly had a real axe to grind against them. I am pretty well satisfied, having gone at this story pretty hard that the unnamed suspect was not a CDN intelligence source. BUT I WILL NEVER KNOW FOR SURE.

    2) That the plot was penetrated or in more extreme yarns perpetrated by RAW. This is murkier still. There are documented contacts between Indian consular officials and one of the suspects, and as well that suspect had received loan credits from the State Bank of India, and as well traveled freely to India before and after the plot. This from an avowed Khalistani. Odd, suspicious, but proves nothing. Fact 2… my memory doesn’t serve me this morning – jet lag – but either 11 or 17 Indian Consular officials were asked to leave Canada about a year after the bombing. My sources tell me that the reason for this was their activities within the Canadian Sikh and I THINK Tamil communities. I know that in one of these cases, CDN intelligence had evidence that a demo turned violent as a result of the provocations of one of these guys, and a Canadian police officer was maimed.

    RAW had intelligence sources that Canadian intelligence and police did not. They had the language which CDN did not, they had leverage back home which CDNs did not, and no rights culture that prevented them from using that leverage. So do I think that RAW knows more about the plot that they have ever let on…? hell yes. Further, CDN police and intelligence sources say that Indian intelligence/police gave them NO help in the investigation that followed.

    So.. curious and suspicious, yes. Evidence, sadly no.

    But… here’s why we made the film.

    About 80% of the victims of this tragedy were Canadian, yet the Prime Minister of our country expressed his condolances to the PM of India in the days that followed. This story in Canada, lasted a few news cycles and disappeared. Would this have happened if the victims were white? No. And today, if you ask a Canadian what they know about Air India, they will murble on about police and intelligence blunders and conspiracy theory.

    But in reality 331 people were killed by a hardcore group of Sikh extremists that emerged from a peaceable, integrated community. The did so by using conflict back home to inflame passions, and they threatened and brutalized those who stood in their way. Canadian authorities were unable to prevent it because they were unlucky, misdirected, had no sources within the community. They were unable to get convictions because nobody in the Sikh community came forward to give them information – because they were terrorized by the perpetrators and their sympathizers, and because the community was deeply traumatized and ashamed (my view). Plus the Indian gov’t's lack of cooperation, noted above.

    Also, and more subtly… the citizenship of the victims was profoundly compromised. They didn’t have the same relationship to politics and law enforcement that I do because their participation was mediated by so called community leaders, mostly in religious institutions that were and still are organized to concentrate influence, and are trolled regularly for votes by our politicians.

    In this dynamic, they became hyphenated Canadians, rather than full Canadians.. so when this dangerous element emerged out of the temples, our authorities treated the problem alternately with kid gloves, or indifference and those members of the ‘community’ lost their voice. So the victims went from proud legal Canadians to hyphenated Indo-Canadians, ands in their death… to Indians. And it was this trajectory that prompted us to make this film.

    Does any of this sound current or familiar?

  35. Parvinder Singh — on 30th June, 2008 at 4:13 pm  

    #35: Thank you Davidy for your insights into the plot. The film on the tradegy is indeed a step forward in exposing the racism in the way the victims and their families were treated in the aftermath of the tragedy. We look forward to it being screened in the UK.

    Looking at the subsequent trial (courtesy of Kulvinder in #34) the evidence presented leans towards there being a bomb on Flight 182. However, as Davidy has said, there were contacts between the Indian consular and one of the suspects. These and other discrepancies in the investigation makes one conclude there is more to this story than has come out.

    Davidy quite rightly noted that ‘nobody in the Sikh community came forward to give them (Canadian authorities) information – because they were terrorized by the perpetrators and their sympathizers, and because the community was deeply traumatized and ashamed ‘.

    Never again should this community, or any other community be held to ransom by a minority bent on terrorising innocent people. We should always speak out for what is right.

  36. Davidy — on 30th June, 2008 at 4:42 pm  

    Thank you Parvinder

    For reference re any doubt on whether Kanishka went down as a result of a bomb, see:

    http://www.courts.gov.bc.ca/Jdb-txt/SC/05/03/2005BCSC0350.htm

    particularly IV h)

    This is the judge’s verdict in R. vs Malik, Bagri

    I should add that the fact that a bomb took the plane down wasn’t the subject of huge discussion at trial is due to the crown, defense, and Reyat’s (the convicted bomb-maker vis Narita) all having accepted this as fact, sparing everyone another huge go-round on the forensics in the second trial.

    Also worth noting is that crown, defense and judge all accepted as fact in this case that the bombing was carried out by Babbar Khalsa, and that the conspiracy was led by Talwinder Singh Parmar. This finding is echoed in the subsequent Rae review, which is a good summary of the story.

    http://www.sp-ps.gc.ca/prg/ns/airs/rep1-eng.aspx

    In our film we accept these truths, and move on to the other questions discussed above.

  37. Dalbir — on 30th June, 2008 at 7:01 pm  

    Davidy thanks for the information.

    I think it is important (more today than ever) to be sensitive to the fact that communities such as Sikhs have already been on the receiving end not only for terrorism in the name of Khalistan but also due to the ignorant confusion of identity in relation to the current global political situation involving Afghanistan. If you’re in Canada, you probably wouldn’t have seen much of this but some polarisation has taken place, especially in places such as the US. This ranges from murder to verbal and physical assaults.

    Regarding your film: I hope the portrayal is balanced and doesn’t serve to reinforce the turban + beard = terrorist stereotype that seems to be forthcoming these days. Most Sikhs I know are hardworking and generally open minded people. We are human too with all the flaws that is inherent with that. I would be saddening for the actions of a minority to malign the wider community especially as the very people under question seem to have very dubious relationships with those they purport to be against.

  38. Mark — on 30th June, 2008 at 7:48 pm  

    Deepa

    Quite how you reach the conclusion that “Apostasy as a concrete concept is acutally alien to Sikhi” I am not sure, let alone to attribute this entirely to the Khalistanis, who granted have their own branded version of most things and hence of apostasy too.

    You were throwing around the word in the Christo-Islamic sense, and this notion has no place in Sikhi because, in the religious sense, it is a universalist faith.

    Now returning to Sikhi, the term ‘patit’ or its variations (i.e. one who trangresses from Sikh rites) can be found in all Sikh rehitnama literature from the late 1700s onwards and has been enshrined in the Sikh Rehit Maryada since 1925.

    Again, you shoot yourself in the nuts. The Rehitnamas of the 18th century are numerous and at variance with each other. Some refer to ‘patits’, others make no reference to it. Their main purpose was to solidify a Sikh identity within a specific social and political context.

    As for the 1925 Maryada, this was wholly a construction of the British and only held any sway while it was patronised by the Empire. Incidentally, this Maryada is what Khalistanis also adhere to by and large.

    And the term patit, as you well know, does not translate into ‘apostate’ in English.

    There is ample commentary available in religious and secular sources concerning the actions of a significant portion of the Sikh community in Punjab over the past two decades engaging in activities which would certainly qualify them as ‘patits’ or ‘apostates’ in line with the use of these terms by the governning Sikh body, supported by various Sikh historical literature spanning over 3 centuries – whether this understanding of ‘apostasy’ or a ‘patit’ is what you or me would like to understand by the term in a Judeo-Christian sense or by viritue of our personal ‘opinions’ really has no bearing on the point I was raiseing and frankly is little more than arguing over semantics.

    Well, it is much more than semantics if you take this theory as truth, as the theocratic Khalistanis do, and then proceed to attack them for their beliefs.

    If you have an issue with the underlying point I have raised, please do ask away.

    No, not at all, I just object to your flawed notion that because a number of Sikhs do not practice all aspects of the Sikh faith, this is tantamount to ‘apostasy’.

  39. Davidy — on 30th June, 2008 at 10:38 pm  

    Mark and Dalbir

    Nothing I write should be taken as disparaging Sikhs in general. In fact I am at pains to point at that the perpetrators – Babbar Khalsa, whose numbers never exceeded 100 in Canada – represented only a tiny minority of Sikhs.

    There was however a period of time, post operation Bluestar when feelings among nationalist Sikhs were running very high…20,000 or so Sikh’s demonstrating in Vancouver streets. The extremists played a role in fanning these flames, but the vast majority did not support the extremists and were horrified by their actions.

    Sikhs, some of whom are on camera in the film, also lost family members in the bombings and speak eloquently to this.

    Go to airindia182.com and click on the picture of the man in the red turban for a sample.

  40. Sunny — on 1st July, 2008 at 1:23 am  

    Good points Davidy, thanks for coming here and making them.

  41. Mangles — on 1st July, 2008 at 1:13 pm  

    Davidy

    Your input above is appreciated and fascinating.

    Why do you think the Indian agencies thought it appropriate not to co-operate with the Canadian inquiry? As the evidence points to a role of Talwinder Singh Parmar in the tragedy, why was he not deported to Canada upon his arrest in India? What were the reasons given by the Indian Consulate for the significant changes to their staffing- i understand these changes are also mentioned in the book ‘Soft Target’.

    I read somewhere that initially there were two other suspects in the immediate aftermath of the tragedy. Does anybody know what became of those suspects and why were they eliminated from inquiries?

    Kulvinder you inquired previously about the significance of my earlier post: how it was meant to relate to the Air India tragedy. My view in a nutshell is that in a similar policy to government sponsored terrorism in Punjab and deliberate attempts to inflame sectarian politics for political ends (as reported in biographies by retired intelligence staff), from Davidy’s post earlier it is compelling that the whole truth of the Air India tragedy is not yet revealed, and there are alarming indications that there was interference by outside agencies or at least individuals.

    This is not about a conspiracy theory. Having read the link of the court judgement that you posted (thanks) the prosecution case was so flimsy, and the witnesses so weak, that it raises questions how the evidence got to court. Why has so little evidence been gathered after 20 years. I believe it is quite incorrect to suggest that the Sikh community has closed ranks- all 5 main prosecution witnesses were of Sikh background who had had association with the defendants (as per the Court papers). So my summation points to the idea that the answers may lie elsewhere. No doubt one or more Sikhs were involved, but who else was involved?

    Clearly any inquiry needs to explore avenues more widely than the knee jerk reaction ‘the Sikhs did it!’ as per the treatment of the Sikh gentleman in the red turban who lost his wife on flight 182 (www.airindia182.com).

    Rab rakha.

  42. Kulvinder — on 1st July, 2008 at 2:27 pm  

    Having read the link of the court judgement that you posted (thanks) the prosecution case was so flimsy, and the witnesses so weak, that it raises questions how the evidence got to court.

    In the case of Malik and Bagri; not in the case of Reyat, whom once again i have to emmphasise pled guilty.

  43. Kulvinder — on 1st July, 2008 at 2:42 pm  

    Davidy whilst i appreciate your input im confused by your post, the paragraphs before the sentence

    ‘But… here’s why we made the film.’

    appears to suggest little more than a derivation of the usual conspiracy theories; the paragraphs afterwards indicate you motive was more about the reaction of Canadian society to the bombing.

    You have your ‘suspicions’, so be it, I don’t begrudge you making a documentry about them (and i admit i haven’t seen the documentry), but unless there is compelling evidence to the contrary the facts of the event, as determined by the verdict of the jury in the first trial and the guilty plea in the second are clear.

    Out of curiosity do you believe the attacks of the 11th September 2001 were the work of a conspiracy within the American government?

  44. Parvinder Singh — on 1st July, 2008 at 4:22 pm  

    Just to explore this a bit further. The Sikh community, not only in Canada but worldwide were traumatised and ashamed at what happened. On one hand, we have the conspiracy theories arguing it was all down to the Indian authorities. On the other, and I think most people agree, individuals of a particular organisation did have a hand in it. The question which I think still baffles many is how come such a religiously-inclined group like the Babbars stooped so low to kill innocents, many of them Sikhs to make some sort of revenge statement. Was there someone else involved? Could they have been a sort of ‘Fifth Column’ within the community? While the same has been said of the 7/11 attacks, there is quite a lot of documented evidence, from former policeman themselves, of the Punjab Police and RAW’s involvement in such groups.

    The Indian human rights activists, Ram Narayan Kumar who is an Advisory board member of Ensaaf wrote in the landmark investigative report published in 2003, ‘Reduced to Ashes – The Insurgency and Human Rights in Punjab’, ‘My own research on Punjab in that period suggested that the state agencies were creating vigilante outfits in order to infiltrate the Sikh radical movement and generate a climate of moral revulsion by engineering heinous crimes which they then attributed to armed Sikh groups.’ http://www.ensaaf.org/docs/reducedtoashes.php

    The Punjab Human Rights Organisation (PHRO), a Chandigarh-based NGO claims to have spent 7 years investigating the Air India plot and revealed its findings through the magazine, Tehelka:

    In it, it alleged that Pakistan-based Lakhbir Singh Brar Rode, leader of the International Sikh Youth Federation (ISYF) and nephew of Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale, was the real mastermind behind the Air India bombing: ‘“After the Khalistan movement gained in sympathy in the West, especially in Canada, after the 1984 Blue Star operation and the killing of Sikhs in Delhi, a plot was hatched to discredit the Sikh movement. Parmar was roped in by Lakhbir at the behest of his masters. The Punjab Police got orders to finish off Parmar as he knew too much about the main perpetrators.’ According to the PHRO, a former Punjab police officer gave them evidence to them alleging that the Rode was actually an Indian government agent.

    This evidence had been presented to the John Major Commission of Inquiry into the events. Although one can argue this an attempt to blame the ISYF rather than the Babbars for the bombing, or an attempt to lay blame on the Punjab Police. Who knows.
    http://www.tehelka.com/story_main33.asp?filename=Ne040807operation_silence.asp

  45. deep singh — on 1st July, 2008 at 4:28 pm  

    Mark,

    Again, kindly use my correct name – it is quite telling of your culture that you are unable to address someone with their correct name, even upon being corrected once already.

    As per your other comments:
    1.“You were throwing around the word in the Christo-Islamic sense, and this notion has no place in Sikhi because, in the religious sense, it is a universalist faith”

    I have explained my use of the term clearly and as you concede, you have no issue with the underlying issue I have chosen to highlight, which for purposes of this thread is sufficient to its central theme, this will be my last post on this item as I feel we are digressing from the central theme and the recent comments by the producer of the film are perhaps where we need to focus our attention.

    2. “Again, you shoot yourself in the nuts”

    Once more, it is particularly telling that you are unable to air your views without having to continually referring to such grotesque phrases.

    3. “The Rehitnamas of the 18th century are numerous and at variance with each other. Some refer to ‘patits’, others make no reference to it. Their main purpose was to solidify a Sikh identity within a specific social and political context.

    Yes they were numerous and at variance, however they form largely the basis of the current Sikh Rehit Maryada (whatever your views on it) and those Maryadas in practice by various sects (Nihangs, Taksal and others), as such they are not necessarily restricted to “a specific social and political context”, as you (and no doubt your source) would like us to believe.

    4. “As for the 1925 Maryada, this was wholly a construction of the British and only held any sway while it was patronised by the Empire. Incidentally, this Maryada is what Khalistanis also adhere to by and large”.

    Ah, that old chestnut, the British Raj and their creation of the Sikh Rehit! The 1925 Maryada is not a construction of the British anymore than the other Rehits that are currently in practice, including those of groups who like to style themselves as the “one true original form of the Khalsa”. More to the point, this Rehit Maryada continues to hold across numerous Gurdwaras and across the Diaspora so your statement that it “only held any sway while it was patronised by the Empire” is rather misleading at best. Moreover, the Khalistanis have numerous issues with this Rehit Maryada as it does not support their fanatical views on diet and dress codes (hence why Khalistani cult groups such as the AKJ frequently issue booklets advertising their own extremist brand of Rehit, addressing points such as vegetarianism and mandatory dress codes for Sikh women amongst others, which are not supported by the Sikh Rehit Maryada and/or history), so again I fail to see how you conclude that “this Maryada is what Khalistanis also adhere to by and large”.

    5. “And the term patit, as you well know, does not translate into ‘apostate’ in English…I just object to your flawed notion that because a number of Sikhs do not practice all aspects of the Sikh faith, this is tantamount to ‘apostasy’.”

    It appears you have misunderstood my comments and also the Sikh Rehit Maryada. The term ‘patit’ does not apply to what you seem to be referring to as “a number of Sikhs (who) do not practice all aspects of the Sikh faith”, but exclusively to an Amritdhari Sikh, i.e. one who has willingly taken initiation as per the Khalsa rites and then committed one of the four ‘kurehits’ (i.e. shorn their keshas, committed adultery, used tobacco etc etc), this is tantamount to ‘apostasy’ since one will need to undergo Khalsa rites again to be ‘re-initiated’ into the Sikh fold should they have committed any of these transgressions.

    I do not wish to presume, however it appears from what you have written thus far, your issue with my comments appears to be coming from an angle that I am somehow implying that only a “Singh” qualifies as a Sikh – for clarity, this is not my personal view (which is by and large aligned with your own – i.e. Sikhi is universalist and pluralistic tradition) and nor is it supported by the Sikh Rehit Maryada.

  46. Mangles — on 3rd July, 2008 at 1:31 am  

    Deep Singh/Mark your discussion is illuminating though divergent.

    Kulwinder – agreed – with regard to Reyat and the findings of the trials this is fact – he has confessed to one element of the crimes that were committed. He was a significant cog in the mechanism. The question that then arises is who else was involved and who instigated the crime. There are numerous indicators of other players, who seem not to have been investigated or at best ignored on the charge sheet.

    Parvinder you offer a plausible answer, and there is significant corroborative evidence of this line of thought, however, in my view it is immaterial whether it was Parmar or Rode who were the main bridge with any other conspirator or even non-Sikh group. The question is who instigated them? If they were used, who were they used by?

    Your proposition of why Parmar as a key witness was allegedly killed in an ‘encounter’ after being detained by Indian personnel and not deported to Canada does hold water. Certainly, the lack of co-operation by Indian agencies and the undermining of the investigation to the extent that a key witness to this tragedy was eliminated in India adds great weight to the conspiracy theories.

  47. Davidy — on 3rd July, 2008 at 2:04 am  

    Hey gang… back again

    Mangles… I’m sorry, I couldn’t tell you why Indian authorities chose not to participate in the investigation. It is an unusual choice given the gravity of what happened. I should point out though, that states NEVER want the laundry of their intelligence services washed in public… whether it is dirty or not. But I genuinely don’t, and will likely nevcer know the answer to this.

    Suspects: There are a half dozen or so who are still on the ‘suspects’ list… one or two of whom may yet see a day in court, although if so it will likely be for the murder of Tara Singh Hayer, the newspaper publisher whose incriminating testimony was not admitted in R vs malik, bagri because he wasn’t around to be x examined.

    The prosecution’s case: You’re right it does seem awfully flimsy. It was based largely on heresay evidence from sources who the Judge found to be untrustworthy. Don’t underestimate the amount of evidence that never came forward though. One crown witness was killed, one went into hiding/witness protection, and at least one changed her story on the evidence strand, seemingly after having been intimidated.

    Kulvinder… my comments on the potential involvement of outside intelligence agents or agencies were in response to questions on this blog, not as I have said the main narrative line of the film. Of course, in the year I put into this film, I have developed opinions on matters outside this narrative line, and I will always feel free to express them.

    The facts that I have outlined in 35 1), 2) above are well established… but as you will note I have categorically stated that I can draw no firm conclusions from them. They are troubling, but neither I or anybody I know who has worked on this case/story has got to the bottom of it. And I doubt that anybody ever will.

    And yes, Malik and Bagri were found not guilty, which makes them innocent of the charges. There are victims’ families who are eloquent on accepting the consequences of this verdict, as much as they were disappointed by it, as the price we pay in a democratic society, and I am humbled by their fortitude.

    As for the the 911 (silly) question… I’ve been asked it before, so am no longer surprised by it. Suffice it to say that I am a committed rationalist, so don’t believe in conspiracies or other foolish things. But I am not idiotic enough as to believe that everything in this world is in plain view either.

    Parvinder… re the Tehelka/Lahkbir Singh Brar Rode story. The story made something of a stir over here, but I know of no one, police, CDN intelligence, or media who buy it. I don’t think Justice Major did either, but we’ll have to wait for his report (by Sept. 2008, I’m told) to see if that’s the case.

    Re the conspiracy theory stuff… allow me an observation. This is the kind of story that you can see about 10% of from the surface of the earth; maybe 20% if you can climb a tall tree. There are a number of people – journalists, investigators – maybe a hundred or so who have devoted many years to following this story down the rabbit hole. They have learned some interesting things, but I don’t think they got to see another 20% of this story for their trouble. Nobody KNOWS, who the mystery man was who helped Reyat build the bomb. Nobody KNOWS who took the bombs to the airport that DAY. Nobody KNOWS who checked in either bag, and nobody KNOWS who, if anyone, outside the core Babbar Khalsa guys who did this thing was involved.

    So, I accept as established fact that Reyat built the bombs, that Parmar led the BK conspiracy that committed the act, and as for the rest… I REALLY don’t know.

  48. Dalbir — on 3rd July, 2008 at 3:14 am  

    Davidy

    Firstly what are the chances of a truly independent and thorough investigation by Major? Given the rise of India economically and as a political force, is there any danger of a whitewash as Canada seeks to keep in
    India’s good books? Inquiry whitewashes are quite popular in the UK…..Hutton etc.

    I’ll be honest with you. Prior to this thread starting my own personal feelings was that it probably was extreme elements within the Sikh community that committed the Flight 182 atrocity. I had heard rumours here and there regarding the so called conspiracy theories but in the back of my mind I suspected that these may well be propaganda or attempts by Sikhs in denial to refuse to accept the truth. If anything what I have subsequently read here and on links posted by yourself and others has muddied the waters even further for me.

    Parmar receiving payments from Indian government sources and the strange contact of a staunch Khalistani with Indian consular staff?

    His associate Rode being accused of being a government agent?

    Also what do you make of the following excerpts from David Kilgour’s book?

    Apparently this is about “a Russian trained spy, Ryszard Paszkowski, who was recruited by CSIS in 1984 to be a spy for Canada. In 1986, Paszkowski was flown to Rome to participate in a secret meeting, which occurred after the bombing of Air India Flight 182.”

    ———-
    As Paszowski was returning to his hotel, his mind was full of what he had just heard. He was to blow up a plane and cause people to die. He started to pull all the threads together. He remembered Maduck stressing the government of Canada’s troubles with its Sikh community and that it would be useful to discredit Canadian Sikhs generally. The Air India catastrophe off Ireland, which had killed more than three hundreds passengers, mostly Canadians, had occurred the previous year. Would a similar event benefit the government of India while subduing the Canadian Sikh community as the prime suspects in the Air India crash? It seemed very clear that high-ranking people in these countries and probably others were involved. The governments of Canada, India and Italy, or perhaps rogue branches of each, acting in concert, had decided on this preposterous mission and had recruited agents like himself to help carry it out. There was no concern for human life, only political objectives mattered. There were two Sikhs in the group, but who knew their real identity or from which side they came? They were many other unknown factors about the mission, but Paszowski was certain he wanted none of it. …
    3
    CSIS badly wanted someone arrested following an attack on an Air India flight after its ineffective efforts to identify those involved in the June 23, 1985, disaster in which three hundred and twenty-nine passenders died off the coast of Ireland. In all likelihood, if CSIS was a party to this enterprise, it intended to abort the mission by arresting all involved before anyone could be hurt. Third, a controversial book by journalists Zuhair Kashmeri and Brian McAndrew, argued that rogue members of the Third Agency, an intelligence group allegedly created in the early 1980s to build support for Indira Gandhi’s government by stirring up Sikh militants in Punjab, committed the 1985 catastrophe to discredit Sikhs world wide and those living in Canada in particular. If true, and the government of India vehemently denied any involvement, was there some involvement by the Third Agency in the Rome plot? If Paszkowski’s account of what he encountered in Rome all invented, why were so many Canadian government representatives so anxious that he divulge no details of why he was in Rome?

    Ref.: Kilgour, David, Betrayal: The Spy Canada Abandon (Scarborough, Ontario: Prentice Hall Canada Inc., 1994), chapter 9.
    —————-

    I chanced across this which is of interest. It is a request to have David Kilgour called as a witness in the John Major inquiry by the World Sikh Organisation. The above quotes are from this document.

    http://www.majorcomm.ca/documents/applications/6Kilgour-application-10-12-07(4)(2).pdf

    What to make of this all??

  49. Sukhpreet Singh Parmar — on 3rd July, 2008 at 10:28 am  

    The fact that there are books on this conspiracy proves a lot, these guys have done their homework and presented good and valid points. Indian intelligence agents who conducted this and were there at the time have written books on this on how the indian government and the intelligence agencies were in on it, then we have to take this seriously. To those idiots who say that this is a insult to the victims families and the victims, it isnt. When high ranking officials come out and say these things, we want to find out the truth and not jail innocent people.

    Why would they intentionally (Indian intelligence agents) just make up lies and give up top secret information like that? Why would MP David Kilgour say what he said? He has nothing to do with this, and he is the furthest from the India/Khalistan thing, so why would he lie?

    If someone wrote a book that has nothing to do with this, then you can call it a conspiracy theory. Go read some reports to from amnesty internation, and human rights watch and see that the Indian Goverment has murdered over 250,000 Sikhs, and this is a non bias orginization, so you cant say it is bias. So dont give me this proIndia, the indian government is good crap. You clowns need to get your heads out of your asses.

    BTW i saw that movie Air India on CBC, it was a very touching movie, and it was hard to watch. When innocent people are killed it breaks your heart. I hope the familes to get justice, but those who perpatrated these attacks will pay the price from God.

  50. Davidy — on 3rd July, 2008 at 1:35 pm  

    Dalbir. Don’t worry about the independent nature of Justice Major’s inquiry. He is a retired Supreme Court Judge, and answers to nobody. This is the man who shut down his inquiry for months because he wasn’t satisfied with the level of disclosure from Canada’s Justice Department and intelligence services.

    I have read, Kushmeri’s book and as well followed (with difficulty) Kilgour’s yarn about Pazowski. Neither contain anything that could remotely be called EVIDENCE that would hold up in a court room. My previous comments about conspiracy theory stand.

    I’m happy to answer any questions of a factual nature, or provide references for any documents that I have… but I’m checking out of the conspiracy theory discussion, OK?

    Cheers all
    Davidy

  51. Dalbir — on 3rd July, 2008 at 1:52 pm  

    That’s fine Davidy.

    Here is a link to various requests for witnesses by the World Sikh Organisation at the Commission investigating the Flight for anyone whose interested.

    http://www.majorcomm.ca/en/applications/worldsikhorganizationofcanada.asp

    I don’t thinks Sikhs should be in denial of the fact that it very well could be someone from within the community who committed this atrocity. At the same time it is not implausible that other agencies were involved. The truth may be that this was an act committed by some Sikh extremists but that agencies had infiltrated them and in a way helped them get on with it for obvious reasons.

    Let our thoughts be with the innocents who perished because of this act and our hopes be that true justice prevails and those behind the brutal murders receive the appropriate punishment.

    Rabh rakha.

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