Canada to pay for India's Kanishka victims

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Old 30-Oct-2010
Canada to pay for India's Kanishka victims

Toronto: Canada is set to disburse an ex gratia payment to the Air India Kanishka victims before Christmas.

Though Canadian Immigration Minister Jason Kenney and Public Safety Minister Vic Toews in their meeting with families of the victims last week had cited the precedence of up to $25,000 (Dh91,801) as ex gratia payment in such cases, sources said on Thursday that the unspecified amount to be paid would not disappoint the families.

All 329 people on board Kanishka Flight 182 from Montreal to New Delhi perished when it was blown up mid-air near the Irish coast June 23, 1985, by a bomb planted by Khalistani militants to avenge the Indian Army action at the Golden Temple in June 1984.

The families of each victim were paid upward of $75,000 (Dh275,405) in an out-of-court settlement in 1991.

But a public inquiry commission led by former Canadian chief justice John Major, which in its June report blamed various government agencies for failing to stop the bombing plot, asked the government to make additional symbolic ex gratia payment to the families.

Confirming this, Immigration Minister Jason Kenney said: "The ex gratia payment will be made by Christmas. It has taken too long [to put closure to the tragedy] and the prime minister wants it done quickly...."

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