On 39th anniversary of Kanishka bombing, India says it stands at the forefront of countering terrorism


PTI, Jun 19, 2024, 3:14 PM IST

Ottawa: India stands at the forefront of countering the menace of terrorism and works closely with all nations to tackle this global threat, India’s Consulate General in Vancouver has said. The statement also reminded the world of the Kanishka bombing, the most heinous terror-related air disasters in the history of civil aviation.

The Montreal-New Delhi Air India ‘Kanishka’ Flight 182 exploded 45 minutes before it was to have landed at London’s Heathrow Airport on June 23, 1985, killing all 329 people on board, most of them Canadians of Indian descent.

The bombing was blamed on Sikh militants in retaliation to ‘Operation Bluestar’ to flush out militants from the Golden Temple in 1984.

The Consulate General of India has planned a memorial service to mark the anniversary of the bombing.

“India stands at the forefront of countering the menace of terrorism and works closely with all nations to tackle this global threat,” the Consulate General of India in Vancouver posted on X on Tuesday.

“23 June 2024 marks the 39th Anniversary of the cowardly terrorist bombing of Air India flight 182 (Kanishka), in which 329 innocent victims, including 86 children, lost their lives in one of the most heinous terror-related air disasters in the history of civil aviation,” it said.

The memorial is scheduled on June 23 at the Air India Memorial at Stanley Park’s Ceperley Playground area in Vancouver.

The Consulate encouraged members of the Indian Diaspora to join the event in a show of solidarity against terrorism.

The memorial service hosted by India comes amid strain in India’s ties with Canada over the issue of Khalistan terrorists after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau alleged in September last year of the “potential” involvement of Indian agents in the killing of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a designated Sikh terrorist. India has dismissed Trudeau’s allegations as “absurd and motivated”.

India has been maintaining that the main issue between the two countries is that of Canada giving space to pro-Khalistan elements operating from Canadian soil with impunity.

India has repeatedly conveyed its “deep concerns” to Canada and New Delhi expects Ottawa to take strong action against those elements.

Meanwhile, Canada’s Parliament marked the first anniversary of Nijjar’s death by holding a moment of silence in the House of Commons on Tuesday. He was shot dead outside a gurdwara in Surrey, British Columbia, on June 18 last year. Canadian police have arrested four Indian nationals in connection with the murder.

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