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BC government proclaims Air India Remembrance Day Featured

Every year, there's a ceremony at the Air India Memorial in Stanley Park to commemorate those who died on June 23, 1985. Every year, there's a ceremony at the Air India Memorial in Stanley Park to commemorate those who died on June 23, 1985.

 

The Government of British Columbia has for the first time proclaimed June 23 as Air India Flight 182 Remembrance Day.

Following sustained efforts of Radical Desi publications, the proclamation was made close to the 34th anniversary of the tragedy.

The ill-fated flight was bombed mid-air above the Irish Sea on June 23, 1985 killing all 329 people aboard.  

The suitcase bomb used in the crime that is widely blamed on Sikh separatists seeking revenge from the Indian government had originated from Vancouver. The incident was worst attack in the history of aviation terror before 9/11. The investigation of the incident has led to only one conviction.

The investigators believe that the episode was in response to repression of Sikhs in India during 1984. The Indian army had invaded the Golden Temple Complex, the holiest shrine of the Sikhs in June 1984, to deal with a handful of armed militants. The military operation left many worshipers dead and important historical buildings heavily destroyed. 

The same year, then-Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was assassinated by her Sikh bodyguards at her residence in Delhi, following which innocent Sikhs were targeted all across India by mobs led by Gandhi’s ruling Congress party with the help of police.

These bloody events alienated the Sikhs from the mainstream, and galvanized the movement for a separate Sikh homeland, both in India and Canada.

The Proclamation made by the Attorney General and Lt. Governor mentions about 86 children who were heading to India for summer vacations when the bombing took place. It also urges residents of the province to reflect on the root causes of the incident and stand in support of the victims’ families.

 

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