Newspaper article The Canadian Press

RCMP Says It Continues to Investigate 1985 Bombing of Air India Plane

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

RCMP Says It Continues to Investigate 1985 Bombing of Air India Plane

Article excerpt

RCMP says Air India bombing probe 'active'

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OTTAWA - Three decades on, the RCMP says its investigation into the Air India bombing -- the worst terrorist act in Canadian history -- remains "active and ongoing."

On June 23, 1985, an explosion ripped apart Air India Flight 182 en route to New Delhi, killing all 329 people aboard, most of them Canadians of Indian descent.

Authorities believe Sikh extremists fighting for an independent homeland sabotaged the Boeing 747, which crashed into the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Ireland.

A federal commission of inquiry would conclude that a "cascading series of errors" by police, intelligence officers and air safety regulators allowed the attack to take place.

The complex investigation of the crime was hampered by difficulty raising the wreckage from the ocean floor, agency turf wars and challenges persuading witnesses to come forward.

Talwinder Singh Parmar, a prime suspect, died in 1992. In 2003, Inderjit Singh Reyat pleaded guilty to manslaughter. Two years later a British Columbia judge found Ajaib Singh Bagri and Ripudaman Singh Malik not guilty.

But police have not closed the file.

A "dedicated team" of Mounties continues to probe the attack on the jetliner and a related explosion at Tokyo's Narita airport, said Sgt. Annie Linteau, an RCMP spokeswoman.

"Over the last 30 years, the Air India investigation is the longest and certainly one of the most complex domestic terrorism investigations that the RCMP has undertaken in the history of the Canadian judiciary," Linteau told The Canadian Press.

"We have continuously worked with various international police agencies in Europe, Asia and North America, who have been extremely co-operative."

The Mounties rarely discuss ongoing investigations, and Linteau declined to provide additional details.

Bal Gupta of the Air India Victims Families Association said he had not heard from the RCMP in more than a year. …

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