Skip to comments.Questioning the Ongoing Air India Inquiry
Posted on 05/25/2007 10:18:59 PM PDT by TBP
THE SIKH EDUCATIONAL TRUST Box 60246 University of Alberta Postal Outlet EDMONTON, AB T6G 2S5 INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF SIKH AFFAIRS (An official organ of The Sikh Educational Trust) The Editor Letters to The Edmonton Journal and Letters, The National Post Canada 9th May, 2007
Dear Sir, AIR INDIA FLIGHT 182 (TORONTO MONTREAL LONDON DELHI), 23rd JUNE, 1985: ENQUIRY OF JUSTICE JOHN MAJOR
My writing to you relates with some minor and major comments related to the subject, and also on Air Indias Shared Tragedy Lost in the SILOS between two nations by George Abraham (The Edmonton Journal, 8th May, 2007).
I would like to comment on Abraham's writing Prime Minister (Brian) Mulroney had telephoned his condolences to his Indian counterpart, Rajiv Gandhi an act that was based on a fundamental misunderstanding of who, exactly, had been victimized, and who, in fact, was to blame. Mr. Abraham seems to be in the grip of part of the problem. As a Canadian national and belonging to the Canadian Sikh community, it appears to me that telephoning to the prime minister of a country, which had betrayed Canada and the international community in 1974 (explosion of a nuclear device prepared from the by-product of a Candu reactor technology for peaceful and medical purposes) by the Right Hon. Prime Minister of Canada was far more important than about 90% of the Canadian passengers of the ill-fated aircraft. It, certainly, is new information that has come out in Justice Majors enquiry. What a pity our Canadian prime minister, who put Rajiv Gandhi first rather than thinking and offering his condolences to the Canadian Sikhs and the victimized families. This act of Prime Minister Mulroney will never be forgotten by the Canadian Sikhs. Earlier, his predecessor, Charles Joseph Clark, had said to the journalists that if you want more information about Sikhs, go and call these numbers (of the Indian Consulate Toronto and High Commission in Ottawa). What an unacceptable act of the prime minister, who hands out the telephone numbers of a foreign mission to get information about Canadian Sikhs. Should we, the Canadian Sikhs who have been in Canada over a century, imply that our Canadian administration has no idea of its Sikh Canadians; or, a foreign mission in Canada has more information about the Canadian Sikhs, especially when the Indian Constitution 1950, Article 25, has eliminated the Sikh Identity and Sikh Faith. The latter is one of the six major faiths of our world.
Does George Abraham know that Mani Shanker Iyer, an Indian diplomat, said, In early 1984, to the hearing of all, mentioned that at the instance of Indira Gandhi, he was given an unpleasant job of portraying Sikhs as terrorists. A few days later, Iyer stated that, against his wishes he had done the job? This was before Operation Bluestar, the orders for which had been delivered in January 1984 (The Sikh Bulletin, October-November 2005, p. 11; email@example.com).
Based on the two previous enquiries and the present one which is going on, it appears to me that nothing extraordinary will come from these enquiries, because the major things which might yield substantial information and which might reveal the real cause of the Air India Explosion of Flight 182 will never find a place in the enquiry that is going on. Some of the points that, as I believe, have not been discussed so far, are summarized below:
1. Why Mr. Zuhaire Kashmeri and Mr. Brian McAndrew, two Canadian journalists, who gave their views in their title, Soft Target Indias Intelligence Service and its Role in The Air India Disaster 1989 first ed. and 2005 second ed. ISBN 10:1-55028-904-7 and 13: 978-1-55028-904-6, have not been called to testify before the enquiry commission?
2. Why Hon David Kilgour, former member of parliament, Speaker of the House of Commons, former Secretary of State for Asia and Africa, and the author of the title BETRAYAL THE SPY CANADA ABANDONED 1994 Prentice Hall Canada Inc., Scarborough, ON ISBN0-13-325697-9, the title that contained Chapter 9 and 10, A Bizarre Episode in Rome and A Battle For Canada, pp.129-163, has not been asked to testify? Hon Kilgour writes One day, while reading a German newspaper, I spotted the photograph and description of a wanted terrorist. I would have known that face anywhere. It was the man who had conducted the meeting in Rome, plotting to bomb some Air India flight. I was quite positive it was him; his name was Udo ulbrecht or Albrecht, wanted for many terrorist attacks and kidnappings in West Germany and Western Europe. I was upset by the whole thing and decided I wanted out of West Germany as soon as I had done my time. In Hon Kilgours title, he further writes He was greeted in English, heavily accented with German, and led into a larger room where a number of men were already seated and smoking. There were two Sikhs wearing traditional turbans, another pair who looked Italian, Paszkowski and the German, who chaired and greeted them in English as all of them spoke the language with differing levels of fluency. The German spoke of the need for international co-operation and how important the mission was for each of their respective governments. He stressed that the group must work closely together. some of the tasks, he said, might appear strange or even incomprehensible to you. Dont worry about that. Let it be the concern of those who sent you here. Your role is to carry out orders to the letter without asking questions. Everyone sat quietly and listened intently. The job at hand is, with the use of explosives, to blow up an Air India plane in Europe. Lives will be lost but we must not think about it...Each of you will be supplied with documents allowing you to move freely in Europe, weapons, explosives, money and detailed instructions. I will meet with each of you personally to supply you with all these. Wait for me and be prepared for action at any time.
3. Under the guise of Democracy, the Indian administrations of post-15th of August, 1947 era (JL Nehru to Manmohan Sinh) and before becoming the political masters of the British Empire later known as the British India Empire, the Brahmins/Hindus (neither a religion nor a culture; see Dalit Voice, Dalit Sahitya Akademy, Bangalore, and other Sikh and non-Sikh academics), betrayed the international community and the Sikhs of Punjab, now the State of Punjab (under the occupation of the alleged Indian democracy, since the 15th of August, 1947). It must be noted that the Sikh Raj of monarch Ranjit Singh, 1799 to 14th March, 1849, was the first Secular and Sovereign country of South Asia. The Sikhs lost to the British Empires forces led by General Gilbert on the 14th of March, 1849. As such, the Struggle To Regain Their Lost Sovereignty, Independence and Political Power of the Sikhs began, by peaceful means taught by their 10 Masters/Gurus (from Guru Nanak Sahib to Guru Gobind Singh ji) right on the day they lost to the British Empires forces. The new territory of the British Empire remained status less but on the 29th of March, 1849, the British agent made a proclamation that the newly conquered Sikh Raj is annexed but not amalgamated to the British Empire for the administration purpose only. It should be noted that the status of the Sovereign and Secular Sikh Raj of Monarch Ranjit Singh remained as annexed territory and not the part of India under British Empire or the time British exit from India on the 15th of August, 1947. It should also be noted that there did not exist the word India in any dictionary or Encyclopedia of the English language until the British agent made the annexation of The Sikh Raj to the British Empire on the 29th of March, 1849. As such, the existence of the Indian nationality until the 29th of March, 1849, was out of question. The Sikhs were never Indian nationals, as evident from the Indian Constitution 1950, Article 25. The Constitution which Sikhs elected representatives rejected in its draft and final forms in the Indian parliament in 1948, the 26th of November, 1949, 1950 and more recently on the 6th of September, 1966. The Canadian news media, along with the international news media and major democratic administrations like the United Kingdom, Canada, United States, Australia, etc., never paid any attention on the Sikhs Struggle for Independence for the reason only known to themselves. Volumes of books and tens of tons news dispatches have been made by the journalists virtually devoid of the Sikhs Struggle for Sovereignty and Sikhs status in the Indian Constitution 1950, Article 25, which proclaimed the alleged Indian state as the Republic of India.
Under the umbrella of democracy (or Brahmins autocracy), India has killed more than 2.3 to 3.2 million Sikhs; over 500,000 Muslims in general; more than 100,000 Muslims of the Internationally Disputed Areas of Jammu and Kashmir; over 300,000 Christians; tens of thousands of Dalits; 15,000 Tamils, thousands of Assamese and other non-Brahmin, non-Hindu minorities, since 15th August, 1947. What kind of democracy in India is which kills its own citizens? There are other democracies in our world, like the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia and others. Has anyone of these countries killed its own citizen(s)? How many Brahmins, Hindus or pro-Brahmins India and its armed forces killed since its inception?
I would like to hear from the journalists like Madam Kim Bolan on the genocides of the Sikhs, Muslims, Christians, Kashmiris and other non-Brahmin and non-Hindu minorities carried out by the Indian democracy? Does she have any information or has she written even a single word on India carrying out genocides of non-Brahmin and non-Hindus since the 15th of August, 1947? Or, else she loves writing against the Sikhs.
For Madam Kim Bolan and her national and international colleagues written specifically or generally on the fake high jacking carried out by the RAW of India (they must examine the archives of the All India Radio, if they pretend to be unaware of the activities of the Indian personnel of RAW and other agencies).
The author was wondering if Madam Kim Bolan and her journalistic colleagues know that the first high jacking of South Asia was carried out by two Brahmin brothers (the Pandey brothers), to secure the release of their Congress leader Indira Gandhi from a jail. Indira Gandhi awarded them, the Brahmins, with her Congress nominations to the U P Legislative Assembly. These criminals were made the law makers. When criminals are made the law makers intentionally, then what could be expected in a democratic country, so to speak?
Madam Kim Bolan and other journalists must read Congressman Dana Rohrabacher of Californias remarks appeared in the United States Congressional Records of the House of Representatives that For the Sikhs, Christians, Muslims and other non-Hindu minorities, India might as well be a Nazi Germany.
4. A community, which is less than 15% of the total population of India, i. e., the Brahmins, Hindus and pro-Brahmins (3+12=15%), deceived and betrayed the Sikhs of the Sikh Raj of monarch Ranjit Singh, robbed them from their land (partitioned on the 15th of August, 1947) in the day light, along with the Sovereign people of the states like Assam, Jammu and Kashmir, Hyderabad, Faridkot (now in Punjab), Bikaner (now in Rajasthan), Dalits (who are still used to remove the human waste from the households and public places of India), Adivaasis, etc.
5. The journalists and writers like Kim Bolan, George Abraham, Martin Collacott, Ian Mulgrew, Bharti Mukeherjee, Clark Blaise, Bill Moyer, etc., are virtually devoid of the Sikhs history from the Sikhs point of view. They are known as staunchly anti-Sikh writers and do not get along with the Canadian and/or American Sikhs, simply because they are devoid of the Sikh history. Indeed, they are well known anti-Sikh writers. Why are they anti-Sikhs and write against the Sikhs, it is only known to them. They cannot exonerate themselves from the anti-Sikh renowned journalists or writers for the reasons only known to them.
6. Madam Kim Bolan and other Canadian journalists, with the exception of well respected Zuhaire Kashmeri and Brian McAndrew, never understood the Canadian Sikh psyche. Why is it so? Only Madam Kim Bolan, other journalists and one Narula of the Asia Watch may explain their position, if they so desire.
7. It goes without doubt that Indian intelligence penetrated Canada in 1980s. This was done to provide cover for the Indian administrations intended attack on the Sikhs Darbar Sahib Complex (mistakenly known as the Golden Temple Complex), which includes the Supreme Seat of Sikh Polity, The Akal Takht Sahib, Amritsar, in the name of a brutal Indian military Operation Bluestar of June, 1984. This was not only an undeclared war on the Sikh Nation, Punjab, but it was carried out to Exterminate The Sikh Identity and The Sikh Faith. One may ask the question did Indian administration succeed? The answer is No; it failed miserably. Their penetration made the life of the Sikhs of Canada no less than a hell. Did anybody, especially the Canadian journalists, with two exceptions, pay any attention to Sikh nationals of Canada? Every Sikh, who is the follower of the Sikh religion, believes in the Canadian way of life, Canadian law, Canadian policy of multiculturalism provided by the administration of the Right Honourable Pierre Elliot Trudeau and Canadian values. Whereas, the Indian administration deliberately made the Sikhs as terrorists; on the 10th of October, 1947, just 7-weeks post of the 15th of August, 1947; the Indian administration of JL Nehru and VB Patel and their man, Chandulal Trivedi in Punjab declared the Sikhs as lawless people in a secret memo. The writer is citing only a few major points out of numerous.
8. Considering the penetration of Indian intelligence in 1980s, not only the RAW personnel (Research and Analysis Wing), but the Indian administration made use of Sikhs, especially Akalis like Gurcharan Singh Tohra, Harchand Longowal, Balwant Ramoowalia, Prakash Singh Badal, Balwant Singh, Dr Jagjit Singh Chohan (now deceased), Maj-Gen Jaswant Bhullar, M S Sidhu, Didar Singh Bains of the United States, Prabhu Dayal Singh, Harjinderpal Singh Nagra and Akalis (correspondence between R K Dhawan of 1, Safdarjang Road, New Delhi; the 30th of January April 25, 1984; please see Chakravyuh Web of Indian Secularism by Gurtej Singh 2000 ISBN81-85815-14-3).
When democratic administrations employ their state intelligence against their own citizens, then what is the guarantee that any individual or state appointed commission will find a way to deliver its just judgement?
I could write more but I should conclude my writing by elaborating that (i) the Indian missions employees/intelligence workers, who have since been declared persona nongrata or left Canada should be summoned back by the commission to question them. I have my doubts that the Diplomatic Immunity may play its stumbling blocks role and nothing constructive will come out from any commission; (ii) the Indian administrations notoriousness is responsible for the Air India disaster of 1985; (iii) in fact, there should be an International Commission to explore and examine the terrorism, persecution, atrocities, human rights violations, and genocides committed by the democratic India. I am of the opinion that Sirdar Gurtej Singh, IAS & IPS (formerly), Professor of Sikhism and Editorial Advisor of the International Journal of Sikh Affairs ISSN 1481-5435 may shed much needed light to the Commission of Justice John Major. All in all, Indian administrations have been responsible not only of the Air India Flight 182, but also of other humanitarian problems, such as Manorama of Assam, who was raped by the Indian Armed personnel in Assam (Assam situation discussed at the 5th United Nations Human Rights Council, Geneva, Switzerland in March 2007).
Best wishes and warmest regards.
Sincerely, Awatar Singh Sekhon, Ph D, FIBA, RM (CCM) Managing Editor and Acting Editor in Chief
***** Copy to: Right Hon Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada Hon Rona Ambrose, M P, Minister for Intergovernmental Affairs Hon Stephane Dion, Leader, Liberal Party of Canada Hon John Layton, Leader, New Democratic Party of Canada Hon Gurbax S Malhi, M P Hon Michael Ignatieff, M P Hon Ruby Dhalla, M P Hon Rahim Jaffer, M P Mr N. Bains, M P Hon Roy Cullen, M P Dr Gurmit Singh Aulakh, President, Council of Khalistan, Washington DC Madam C Beaumier, M P Madam Nina Grewal, M P Professor Gurtej Singh, IAS & IPS (formerly) Dr Harjinder Singh Dilgeer Dr Sukhpreet Singh Udhoke Janab Usman Khalid, President/Director, London Institute of South Asia Sardar Parmjit Singh Sekhon, President, Dal Khalsa Punjab Alliance USA Sir VT Rajshekar, Editor in Chief, Dalit Voice Dr Charles Graves, Secretary General, Interfaith International Madam Kim Bolan
The Council of Khalistan
“RECOGNIZE YE ALL THE HUMAN RACE AS ONE”
Guru Gobind Singh Ji, Tenth Master
The Right Honourable Stephen Harper
Prime Minister of Canada
House of Commons
Ottawa, ON K1A 0A6 Canada
Dear Prime Minister Harper:
I am writing in regard to your new inquiry into the Air India Flight 182 bombing of 1985. I see no purpose for this ongoing inquiry. As you know, the Indian government continues to try to blame Sikhs for this atrocity, despite the fact that Ripudaman Singh Malik and Ajaib Singh Bagri were acquitted by a Canadian judge, who said that the witnesses against them were not credible.
Shortly after the bombing occurred, two Canadian journalists, Zuhair Kashmeri of the Toronto Globe and Mail and Brian McAndrew of the Toronto Star, wrote an excellent book on the case entitled Soft Target, which proves that the Indian government itself carried out the bombing. This finding is confirmed in a book by former Member of Parliament David Kilgour entitled Betrayal: The Spy Canada Abandoned. I urge you to call Mr. Kashmeri and Mr. Mcandrew as witnesses in the inquiry.
Soft Target shows how the Indian regime bombed its own airliner in 1985, killing 329 innocent people, to justify further repression against the Sikhs. The book quotes an investigator from the Canadian Security Investigation Service as saying, If you really want to clear the incidents quickly, take vans down to the Indian High Commission and the consulates in Toronto and Vancouver, load up everybody and take them down for questioning. We know it and they know it that they are involved.
Among many other things, they note that the Indian Consul General in Toronto, Mr. Surinder Malik (no relation to Ripudaman Singh Malik), called in a detailed description of the disaster just hours later when it took the Canadian investigators weeks to find that information. He told them that they should check the passenger manifest for an “L.Singh” because he was responsible — before there was any public knowledge of the bombing!
According to Wikipedia, on June 20, 1985, two days before the flight, at 1910 GMT, a man paid for the two tickets with $3,005 in cash at a CP ticket office in Vancouver. The names on the reservations were changed; Jaswand Singh became M. Singh and Mohinderbel Singh became L. Singh.. Note that this is the same name that Consul General Malik told investigators to look for L. Singh.
It would later come out in newspaper reports that a Sikh named Lal Singh told the press that he was offered two million dollars and settlement in a nice country by the Indian regime to give false testimony in the case.
Malik had also pulled his wife and daughter off the flight suddenly at the last minute, on the feeble excuse that the daughter had a paper for school. A friend of Consul General Malik’s who was a car dealer also cancelled at the last minute.
According to Kashmeri and McAndrew, Curiously, [Consul General] Malik knew more details about the two blasts than did the police investigators .Malik said that while one of the suspects was booked to Japan, the other was booked to Toronto and onwards to Bombay. He also said that the two checked their bomb-laden bags but did not board the flight themsleves. In sum, Malik had painted a scenario of the double sabotage operation that was a near perfect account of what the Mounties would take weeks to fathom.
[Consul General] Malik continually fed the Globe information pointing to Sikh terrorists as the source of the bombs. He was behind another story six days after the crash, this one headlined Air-India pilot reported given parcel by Sikh. Kashmeri and McAndrew also wrote, Malik pressured the Globe to publish this story, adding that it could be used to make a stronger case for blaming the Air-India and Narita bombings on the Babbar Khalsa leader. Malik also decried the Canadian system of justice for failing to come up with a quick solution to the bombings. In India we would have had a confession by now. You people have too many civil and human-rights laws, he complained.
The Sikh organization that the Indian government said was responsible, Babbar Kahlsa, is and was then heavily infiltrated by Indian government operatives at very high levels of the organization. The main backer of the group had received a $2 million loan from the State Bank of India just before the plane was attacked, according to Soft Target. The year after the bombing, three Indian consuls general were asked to leave the country.
In his book, Kilgour wrote that Canadian-Polish double agent Ryszard Paszkowski was approached to join a plot to carry out a second bombing. The people who approached Paszkowski were connected to the Indian government.
Yet the Indian government continues to apply pressure to find some Sikhs guilty of the bombing. I am sure that your inquiry will be conducted with fairness and justice. I hope that you will find the real culprits and put this matter to rest. The bombing was an Indian government operation from the beginning.
If there is anything I can do to assist you, please feel free to contact me. Thank you.
Dr. Gurmit Singh Aulakh
Council of Khalistan
Our ~resident FR Khalistan activist~ ping!
AI blast: Canadian authorities were warned
Ajit Jain in Toronto
May 01, 2007 02:24 IST Last Updated: May 01, 2007 06:10 IST Canadian authorities were warned about a plot “to strike at the government of India” for its operations in the Golden Temple in Amritsar before the 1985 Air India bombing that killed 329 people, a former police officer told the Air India Judicial Commission on Monday. Rick Crook, former constable with the Vancouver Police, had a sickening feeling after hearing about the tragic bombing of Air India in which all 329 people died.
A British Columbian man, Harmail Singh Grewal had told Crook about a plot to blow up two Air India planes.
As the Air India public inquiry resumed its hearings on Monday in Ottawa, Crook testified how Grewal seemed willing to tell police who was behind the terrorist plot, but his lawyer at the time, George Angelomatis, prevented him from doing so unless a deal was reached.
A partial script of Grewal’s conversation with police months before Air India flight 182 was blown out of the sky was reportedly released on Monday.
“Air India is state-controlled and, Indira Gandhi, they’re trying to get back at Indira Gandhi by bombing an Air India plane,” Grewal reportedly told Crook. “No Sikhs are traveling on Air India, they feel it will strike at the government.”
Grewal also reportedly told the police how meetings had taken place in Lower Mainland restaurant in September or early October 1984 to discuss the plot and that some had already exchanged hands.
He took the information provided very seriously ‘...because of the magnitude of what he was talking about,’ Crook told Justice John Major, who’s chairing the Air India Inquiry.”
So, he prepared a report and sent it to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the Canadian Security Intelligence Service. There’s nothing more he could do, as he was merely a constable with the municipal police, he said in his testimony.
When the Air India plane exploded in June 1985, and within an hour of another bomb targeting Air India blowing up at Narita Airport, Crook felt sick. “It was a sickening feeling to realise in all likelihood it was something you had spoken of eight months previously,” Crook told this reporter.
“It was a bizarre concept to grasp,” he’s quoted in Vancouver Sun as saying. “And again it is within the benefit of hindsight that we take a look back and say why didn’t we realise it, but you know we are talking pre-9/11 and all the concerns we know have about our security.
“It was a different time and place and it was unbelievable to consider that someone would be contemplating a monumental disaster such as Air India.”
The hearings continue with Don McLean, formerly of the Vancouver Police, as the next witness.
Prosecutors blamed radical orthodox Sikh immigrants to Canada, saying the bombing was payback for the Indian government’s 1984 operations at the Golden Temple.
But the only person jailed over the airline attack was bomb-maker Inderjit Singh Reyat, who now faces perjury charges over his testimony at the trial of two men acquitted in the plot in 2005.
The alleged mastermind of the plot, Talwinder Singh Parmar, was killed in a police shootout in India in 1992.
According to reports, other warnings came from the Indian government and Air India itself, which told Canada’s federal police three weeks before the bombing that Sikh extremists in Canada were planning to bomb Air India flights.
The inquiry heard three weeks of emotional testimony last fall from the victims’ families recounting their personal ordeals and frustrations over the last two decades. But there have been hardly any hearings since then on the details of what happened.
Most of the delay can be attributed to haggling between commission counsel and lawyers for the federal government over how much of the documentary trail and oral testimony from here on will be public and how much will remain behind closed doors for reasons of national security.
(With PTI Inputs)
What Rajiv Gandhi told Canada PM after A-I blast
May 03, 2007 09:54 IST
In a phone call just after the bombing of the Air India plane in 1985, then Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi had asked his Canadian counterpart why all the baggage on the flight was not removed and rechecked in Montreal when three pieces were found to be suspicious.
Gandhi had suggested to Prime Minister Brian Mulroney that Canada had breached international procedures by not re-screening the luggage on Flight 182.
Details of the emotionally-charged exchange were revealed on Wednesday in declassified government documents released at the judicial inquiry probing the June 23, 1985 bombing that killed 329 and a blast the same day at Tokyo’s Narita Airport that killed two.
A June 27 briefing document about the call says: ‘Overall impression was that Gandhi was highly excited, perturbed and concerned, but highly appreciative of the call.’
‘After Candian PM related his sympathies and condolences, Gandhi said he understood three suitcases had been pulled from Air India flight in Montreal and his understanding was that when such a thing happened, it was standard (international) practise that all suitcases would be searched, but this had not been done in this case,’ the document says.
‘Our PM did not comment directly on this but went on to say that in response to Indian requests, we had made every effort to ensure safety of Indian diplomatic personnel and premises in Canada. We would redouble our protective efforts and prosecute to the full extent of the law anyone involved in illegal action,’ National Post reported, quoting the documents.
The briefing note says Gandhi had already heard of the Narita bombing as well and the two prime ministers agreed it looked like there was a sinister connection. The fact that Mulroney first called Gandhi to express condolences on the loss of life on the plane when most of the passengers were Canadians has long been criticised.
But the intimate details of the conversation between the two former prime ministers sheds much more light on the response to what at the time was an unprecedented act of terrorism.
The briefing says that while Gandhi, a trained commercial pilot, was not directly questioning Canadian security measures before the bombing, ‘it is clear this question is implied.’
The document says Mulroney asked staff to investigate Gandhi’s concerns about the baggage.
‘Mulroney has asked Canadian authorities for a full report and we will relay that to Indian authorities,’ says the memo, which was signed by an Ottawa official with the Canadian Security Intelligence Service.
Another memo released at the inquiry describes a meeting on June 25, 1985 between Bartleman’s minister, Joe Clark, and S J S Chhatwal, then Indian High Commissioner in Canada, about the bombing.
At the meeting, Clark said ‘he had for some time been very concerned about some activities within the Indian ethnic community in Canada involving extremist elements,’ the document says.
‘Clark said that he had personally talked with the president of India about this issue at the time of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s funeral and had stressed the importance of counteracting extremism.’
The declassified memos, briefing notes and documents from both CSIS and the RCMP show that massive amounts of intelligence had been gathered for years before the bombings about plot mastermind Talwinder Singh Parmar and Babbar Khalsa, the terrorist group he founded in 1978.
‘On date, 1984/04/07, at the height of the conflict in Punjab, the Babbar Khalsa threatened to kidnap or kill the Indian Consul General in Vancouver,’ a June 29, 1985, CSIS document says.
‘This telephone threat was also directed at members of the consul’s family. In 1981 and again in 1984, the Babbar Khalsa penned its name to threatening letters to the prime minister and other high officials in India. These letters were postmarked, Vancouver,’ the documents said.
Startling revelations have come out this week at the inquiry headed by retired Supreme Court of Canada Justice John Major about repeated warnings made to law enforcement agencies about bomb plots against Air India.
Equally startling have been repeated examples of warnings not being shared between agencies or different levels of government.
No witnesses testified on Wednesday, but Ontario Lieutenant Governor James Bartleman will take the stand when the inquiry resumes on Friday. At the time of the bombing, he was in charge of the intelligence analysis and security branch of the Department of External Affairs.
Kanishka: Rajiv Gandhi had questioned security lapses
[3 May, 2007 l 0935 hrs IST PTI]
TORONTO: In a phone call just after the bombing of the Air India plane in 1985, the then Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi had asked his Canadian counterpart Brian Mulroney why all the baggage on the flight was not removed and re-checked in Montreal when three pieces were found to be suspicious.
Gandhi, a trained commercial pilot himself, had suggested to the Canadian PM
that Canada had breachedinternational procedures by not re-screening
the entire luggage on Flight 182.
Details of the emotionally charged exchange were revealed on Wednesday in declassified government documents released at the judicial inquiry probing the June 23, 1985 bombing that killed 329 people. A blast on the same day at Tokyos Narita Airport killed two.
A June 27 briefing document about the call says: Overall impression was that Gandhi was highly excited, perturbed and concerned, but highly appreciative of the call.
After our PM related his sympathies and condolences, Gandhi said he understood three suitcases had been pulled from Air India flight in Montreal and his understanding was that when such a thing happened, it was standard [international] practice that all suitcases would be searched, but this had not been done in this case, the document says.
Our PM did not comment directly on this but went on to say that in response to Indian requests, we had made every effort to ensure safety of Indian diplomatic personnel and premises in Canada. We would redouble our protective efforts and prosecute to the full extent of the law anyone involved in illegal action, National Post reported, quoting the documents.
The briefing note says Gandhi had already heard of the Narita bombing as well and the two prime ministers agreed it looked like there was a sinister connection.
The fact Mulroney first called Gandhi to express condolences on the loss of life on the plane when most of the passengers were Canadians has long been criticised.
But the intimate details of the conversation between the two former prime ministers sheds much more light on the response to what at the time was an unprecedented act of terrorism.
The briefing says that while Gandhi, a trained commercial pilot, was not directly questioning Canadian security measures before the bombing, it is clear this question is implied.
The document says Mulroney asked the staff to investigate Gandhis concerns about the baggage.
Mulroney has asked Canadian authorities for a full report and we will relay that to Indian authorities, says the memo, which was signed by an Ottawa official with the Canadian Security Intelligence Service.
Another memo released at the inquiry describes a meeting on June 25, 1985 between Bartlemans minister, Joe Clark, and S J S Chhatwal, the then Indian High Commissioner in Canada, about the bombing.
At the meeting, Clark said he had for some time been very concerned about some activities within the Indian ethnic community in Canada involving extremist elements, the document says.
Clark said that he had personally talked with the President of India about this issue at the time of Prime Minister Indira Gandhis funeral and had stressed the importance of counteracting extremism.
Talwinder Singh Parmar was a leader of Babbar Khalsa, an organization so deeply infiltrated by the Indian government that it was effectively under its control. (Remember, India Today reported that it was the Indian government itself that created the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam.)
CSIS wondered if Parmar was an Indian agent
By JIM BROWN
OTTAWA (CP) - Canada’s spy agency thought Talwinder Singh Parmar was probably a dangerous terrorist months before the 1985 Air India bombing - but it also toyed with an alternative theory that he could have been an agent provocateur working for the Indian government.
“He was an unknown (at the time),” Ray Kobzey, a former CSIS officer, testified Wednesday. “We needed to clarify what exactly we were dealing with here.”
Documents previously tabled at the inquiry headed by retired judge John Major show the Canadian Security Intelligence Service started trying in the fall of 1984 to get a wiretap warrant against Parmar, then head of the militant Babar Khalsa movement that preached armed struggle to win a homeland for Sikhs in northern India.
In support of the warrant application, CSIS pointed to inflammatory public speeches Parmar had made, threatening to kill “50,000 Hindus” and appealing to Sikhs to unite in the battle for independence.
Kobzey wrote at the time that Parmar should be considered “the most radical and potentially dangerous Sikh in the country.”
But he also noted, in the material marshalled to support the wiretap warrant, that some sources in the Indo-Canadian community thought he was actually an agent of the Indian government intent on sowing discord.
That wasn’t as troubling as the possibility that he was plotting terrorist acts, Kobzey testified. But it was still a threat to Canadian national security.,
If Parmar had been an agent provocateur, he said, the danger would have been that he was “destabilizing the emigre community, creating problems within the community, fomenting unrest.”
The suggestion that Parmar was an agent of Indian intelligence, with a hidden agenda to discredit Sikhs, has long since been abandoned by virtually all students of the Air India bombing.
But the evidence at the inquiry shows CSIS hadn’t yet discarded the possibility when it began trying to get judicial authorization to tap his phone.
It turned out that it took five months to get the tap in place - not because of any resistance by the courts but because of bureaucratic problems within the security service.
The delay - previously noted by several witnesses - meant CSIS didn’t get the pipeline it wanted into Parmar’s activities until February 1985, four months before Air India Flight 182 was downed by a terrorist bomb.
It’s been an open question ever since whether speedier action to obtain the wiretap could have averted the tragedy.
Major observed Wednesday that there’s no way of knowing, but it could have given CSIS “a better chance of finding out at least what the gossip in that community was.
“Exactly” replied Kobzey. “It’s something that I’ve reflected on numerous times - the loss of that data, what did that mean in terms of the investigation and where it could have gone.”
Parmar, believed to have been the ringleader behind the bombing, left Canada after the attack and was never prosecuted. He was shot dead by police in India in 1992.
Harmail Singh Grewal was a career criminal who worked in a liquor store. Hardly a reliable person.
Which he was.
Kanishka probe: Parmar was suspected as an Indian agent
24 May, 2007 l 1222 hrs ISTlPTI
TORONTO: Months before the 1985 Air India bombing, Canada’s spy agency thought Talwinder Singh Parmar was probably a dangerous terrorist but it also toyed with an alternative theory that he could have been an agent provocateur working for the Indian government.
“He (Parmar was an unknown (at the time),” Ray Kobzey, a former CSIS officer, testified on Wednesday.
Parmar later emerged as the key figure in the bombing of the Kanishka flight on June 23, 1985, which killed 329 people.
Documents previously tabled at the inquiry headed by retired judge John Major show the Canadian Security Intelligence Service started trying in the fall of 1984 to get a wiretap warrant against Parmar, then head of the militant Babar Khalsa movement that preached armed struggle to win a homeland for Sikhs.
In support of the warrant application, CSIS pointed to inflammatory public speeches Parmar had made, threatening to kill “50,000 Hindus” and appealing to Sikhs to unite in the battle for independence. Kobzey wrote at the time that Parmar should be considered “the most radical and potentially dangerous Sikh in the country.”
Please tell me how the Indian Consul Genral knew all about the inncident before the investigators did and before it was really public knowledge.
BTW, Rediff is an Indian -based news service which supports the government line as against the human-rights activists and others who criticize their treatment of minorities. It always justifies any atrocity committed by the Indian regime.
Rediff is a private-owned news service. It’s a lot more trust-able than all of the Khalistani propaganda piece you scripted above, in the main posts.
By the way, we’re all waiting for your magnanimous reply to this question:
One funny thing is that Khalistanis claim only the Indian portion of Punjab, a country that has allowed a SIKH prime minister and SIKH chief of armed forces and an erstwhile SIKH president.
They are too scared to fight MUSLIM punjabis inspite of the fact that its much larger than the Indian side and is home to the Birth place of Guru Nanak.
We dont see Khalistanis fighting the Pakistani govt anywhere or even making a demand that they be separated. But they want to wage a war against democratic India so violently !
Indian sikhs are far too sensible to fall into this Khalistani trap, as they recognize the absurdity of the seperatist logic.
Whenever it’s a case of the government against the minorities, Rediff just about always takles the government’s side, no matter how egregious the act.
There are not many Sikhs left in Pakistani Punjab; they were relocated at the time of partition.
Further, the Pakistanis have been gracious in allowing the free movement of Sikhs from around the world, including the state of Punjab on the Indian side, to come to Nankana Sahib for the annual commemoration of guru Nanak, as well as for other events.
So you've been selectively ignorant about the forced conversions of Sikhs by the Muslims in Pakistan.
Further, the Pakistanis have been gracious in allowing the free movement of Sikhs from around the world, including the state of Punjab on the Indian side, to come to Nankana Sahib for the annual commemoration of guru Nanak, as well as for other events.
Yea, right. Lol!
Mann writes to Pakistan Embassy
Forced conversion of jailed Indian Sikhs
New Delhi, February 6
Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) President and Lok Sabha MP from Sangrur Simranjit Singh Mann has written to the Pakistan High Commission here expressing concern over forced conversion to Islam of some Sikh youths in Pakistan jails.
Mr Mann has requested the Deputy High Commissioner of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, Mr Jilani, to allow one of the four Shiromani Gurdawara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC) members of his party to visit jails in Pakistan where the Sikh youths have been kept. The Akali leader has requested Mr Jilani to grant SGPC members permission to use the land route through Wagah to verify the authenticity of news reports that Sikhs are being coaxed to convert to Islam. A member of the Consultative Committee, Ministry of External Affairs, Mr Mann has requested the Deputy High Commissioner to expeditiously repatriate 22 Sikhs from various jails in Pakistan to Punjab in India.
While drawing the attention of Mr Jilani to the plight of the youths languishing in jails in Kot Lakhpat and Quetta, Baluchistan, the Akali leader has stated that these youths have been duped by unscrupulous travel agents.
The letter also mentions names of youths from various places in Punjab. According to the list, Mahinder Pal Singh (Marnarian), Harminder Singh (Goraya village) and Kehar Singh (Begowal village) from Hoshiarpur district, Gurpreet Singh (Rounta village) and Kuldip Singh (Bhatnoora village) from Jalandhar disrict and Shiv Kumar from Kanour village in Nawanshahar are in the Kot Lakhpat jail. The 16 youths in Quetta jail belong to various districts in Punjab and Haryana. Names spelt out in the letter are as follows: Inderjit Singh from Brara Gurdev village and Sukhwinder Singh from Milk Shekha village in Ambala, Gurnam Singh from Gari Kanungon and Amarjeet Singh from Danowal Khurd villages in Hoshiarpur district, Gurmeet Singh from Timberpur village in Fatehgarh Sahib, Satnam Singh from Sohal district in Gurdaspur, Balwinder Singh from Nawarsi village in Kurukshetra, Karam Singh from Malliana village in Moga, Surjit Lal from Kataria village and Harmesh Singh in Jandel Khurad village in Nawan Shehar, Rajwinder Singh from Ajrawar in Patiala, Surjit Singh from Bakhli village, Surjit Singh from Talli village and Bachitar Singh from Pehowa, Rakesh Singh from Kashmir Garh and Surinder Singh from Mallan Wali village in Yamunanagar.
Perhaps Simranjit Singh Mann has had a problem, but every year many Sikhs from all over the world gather in Nankana Sahib. I know Sikhs who go there whenever they can afford to do so, with absolutely no problems. They see Sikhs from Punjab there too.
Perhaps Mann’s problem isn’t that the Pakistanis won’t let him go, but that India won’t, considering that they have been doing thigns like arresting Mr. Mann for holding a peaceful protest at the statue of the repressive Beant Signh and making speeches and hoisting a flag in various peaceful marches.
Apparently, exercising your rights is a de facto crime in India.
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