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1984 Anti-Sikh Pogrom The John Major Report: Will We Get The Truth About Air India Flight # 182?


Jun 1, 2004
The John Major Report: Will We Get The Truth About Air India Flight # 182?

sikhchic.com | The Art and Culture of the Diaspora | The John Major Report: Will We Get The Truth About Air India Flight # 182?


The final report of the federal inquiry, to be released on Thursday, June 17, 2010, is expected to run more than 3,100 pages in five volumes, supplemented by four volumes of research papers stretching over an additional 1,300 pages.

But family members say they do not anticipate the report will give them any peace, because it is not expected to name those responsible for the bombings that killed 331 people, most of whom were Canadian.

"We have given up hope, [we believe] that no one is going to help us," said Rattan Singh Kalsi, whose 21-year old daughter Indira was on the ill-fated Air India flight that blew up over the Atlantic Ocean on June 23, 1985. "We did not get justice." Those who put the bombs on the planes are still free, he said.

Rattan Singh, who went to Ireland to mark the anniversary of the bombing every year for 20 years, said the victims' families had lobbied for a federal inquiry because they thought an inquiry would bring out the truth ...

Justice John Major was appointed in May of 2006 to look into the Canadian government's response to terrorism threats, terrorism financing, aviation security and how to protect witnesses against intimidation in a terrorism case. He was also to examine how government departments and agencies, including the RCMP and CSIS, share information and the use of security and police intelligence as evidence in a trial.

[Glolbe & Mail]

Editor: The following article, though first published in 2005, poses crucial issues and questions which remain unanswered and unaddressed to date. Each point is well documented by the author and backed by elaborate foot-notes.

The question is: Will the Report by Justice Major answer these questions or will it continue to deftly skirt the involvement of the Indian agents in the crime? Equally important is to see if the Inquiry summonsed and heard any of the key people - each a prestigious public figure - who have themselves declared elsewhere that they were and are privy to crucial information. [See "The Missing Witnesses" in the Columnists Section here on sikhchic.com under 'T. Sher Singh' or click on ]sikhchic.com | The Art and Culture of the Diaspora | The Missing Witnesses. Or will the Report pretend to have come to a valid conclusion or findings without even having heard from any of them on the pretext that the Inquiry was given a very narrow and limited mandate?


For a long time now nothing has disturbed the minds of the Indian politicians and of those connected with the particular variety of Indian print Media than the acquittal of wrongly-accused Sikhs in the Air India/ Kaniska tragedy.

For anyone searching for the seamier side of the soul of ‘world's largest democracy' and the proportion of dark hatred in the cultural content of the ‘world's most ancient civilisation,' the search appears to end here. Everyone who considers himself a ‘patriotic Indian' of the latest Hindutava brand is crying ho{censored} for a pound of Sikh flesh and an ounce of Sikh blood. A variety of reasons, attuned to pseudo human rights consideration are being churned out in the name of outraged conscience and phoney concern for skewed justice.

One look at the daily papers indicates that everyone around is emphatically emphasising the slogan of the queen of hearts in Alice in Wonderland - ‘Punishment first: trial later!' If someone thinks these are strong words, that person will be struck by their extreme moderation by the time all facts connected with the ghastly and most condemnable events of June 23, 1985, have been related.

Let all the cards be put on the table before proceeding any further. The facts recalled here have been drawn mostly from the Canadian government sponsored Security Intelligence Review Committee (SIRC) report (referred to hereon as the "Report"). This research was conducted by a team of five competent researchers who painstakingly worked for one full year from October 1991 to September 1992 on more than 61,129 pages of original government reports, investigation files and documents connected with the incident. It is classified by the Canadian government as "Top Secret."

The book, Soft Target, authored by two highly respected Canadian journalists, Zuhair Kashmeri and Brian McAndrew (James Lorimer & Company, Toronto, 1989, cited here as "Soft Target") has also been referred to.

Most of the material connected with the plane disaster easily available to the public has been kept in mind. The judgment delivered (that is the version made available to the public) by Mr. Justice Josephson in R. v. Malik and Bagri 2005 BCSC350 (henceforth, referred to as the "Judgment") was extremely useful for an insight into the constraints of Canada.

It is this March 16, 2005, judgment which has caused distress to a section of the ultra-patriotic Indians. Maloy Krishna Dhar's Open Secrets (Manas Publications, New Delhi, 2005) is not so open on the main issues with which it is concerned, but has been seen. An attempt has been made to understand the context in which all this has happened. Death of Air India Flight 182 was, regrettably, not available.

The other plane prepared for a similar fate on the same day, landed at the Narita airport on time and an explosion in its baggage hold took place while the luggage was being taken out. Two baggage handlers were killed. Air India flight number 182, the main subject of study, was scheduled to leave at 6:30 pm, it actually took off at 8:15 pm, one hour and forty-five minutes late (or one hour an fifty nine minutes late, according to the Judgement, para 37). The bomb explosion in its baggage hold took place when it was just an hour away (at 12:14 am - Judgment, paragraph 39) from London where it was to stop for re-fuelling. Had it been on time, the bomb would have exploded exactly when the baggage of those getting off at Heathrow would have been in the process of being removed from the compartment. That is, exactly a repetition of what had happened at Narita airport. The propaganda value of the event would have been immense and the loss of life minimal under the circumstances.

It may be recalled that on August 2, 1984 (10:52 pm), two suitcases meant for similar use had exploded at the Madras (now Chennai) airport. Twenty-nine people had died and another thirty-eight had been injured. The suitcases were meant for loading on Paris and London bound Sri Lanka planes. Had they been loaded on the designated planes, the explosions would have taken place after the planes had landed at destination. The incident was blamed on the Tamil Tigers fighting for independence in Sri Lanka. This was condemned all around the world as it should have been and it justified the massacre of Tamil freedom fighters by the Indian Peace Keeping Force in Sri Lanka. That it eventually led to the assassination of the then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi is another matter. The modus operandi in all three cases is the same. This alone tells a complete tale to a forensic expert and one well versed with police investigation.

The Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) later came to know that the Madras explosion was caused by the secret agencies of the Government of India, particularly the Third Agency[1]. The purpose was to come down heavily upon the Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka.
Those for whom this information is insufficient to honestly apportion blame where it appears to belong, may just wait a while before passing judgment and are requested to read on.

Why did the Air India Flight 182 leave late?

It left late because it had to fit a spare aeroplane engine in its luggage hold. It was to be carried to India for repairs. It took an inordinately long time to load it. The door had to be unhinged and the hinges had again to be put on. This delayed the plane by one hour and forty-five (or fifty-nine) minutes[2].

To say the least, this threw the perpetrator out of gear or completely unhinged him. Extra load of the engine further slowed down the flight. What he did in the circumstances was what has always been done in criminal history and would constitute a text-book approach in criminal jurisprudence. He tried to mislead the investigators and succeeded. Before even the initial numbness caused by the extreme callousness of the act was gone, before even the airport computer had been scrutinised, that someone announced in an anonymous short article in the Globe and Mail that this explosion had been caused by two Sikhs who had bought tickets in the names of Amand (M.) Singh and Lal (L.) Singh.

This article appeared within 15 hours of the fatal explosion. An investigation by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) revealed the name of the Indian Ambassador as the author of that short article[3].

It also suggested that the line of investigation which the confused RCMP and the CSIS adopted to all outward appearances and for all practical purposes. The line of investigation he suggested was that two persons had checked in the luggage and had not boarded the flight and that this crime was the handiwork of ‘Sikh terrorists'.[4] There is no doubt that this Indian official was a highly perceptive person with yogic abilities to tell the future and to influence it. His wife, children and a couple of friends were to travel on the ill-fated plane and he had all the tickets cancelled just in time to save them all[5]. Consul General J. K. Sharma of the Indian Consulate at Vancouver had similarly changed his wife's travel plans at the last minute. She too was to travel by the same plane.

Very soon the topmost security agency of India, (not) so very subtly, suggested the same line of investigation in the form of five questions it put to the RCMP. The Indian agencies worked overtime to ensure fulfilment of the prophecy, so confidently made by the country's Consul. They arrested every Lal Singh and M. Singh who landed on the ports of India. One Lal Singh was confined to jail for two decades so as to be available at the time of giving evidence. He was promised freedom and a lot of money to give evidence when the trial was about to start. Another person in Germany was approached for the same purpose and on as generous terms. This blow for ‘justice' was a joint Indo-Canadian venture involving also the RCMP. These two grossly wronged good men bowed to the dictates of their conscience and declined to perjure themselves thus putting to shame two democratic countries swearing by the rule of law. Later proceedings indicate that other attempts at creating false evidence were slightly more successful.

Had the RCMP been more trusting right from the beginning, perhaps a different judgment could have been obtained. The official agencies of the Government of India did offer to try its trusted methods of obtaining a sure conviction - regardless of the guilt of the accused. They offered to torture the accused and their relatives, to buy witnesses and to intimidate them by available means. Had Canada, like India, been able to post a few pliable judges with easy conscience, these Sikhs could have been hanged by every lamppost in Toronto. This method had worked to perfection in India. Kehar Singh, whom no system of jurisprudence could have pronounced guilty, was hanged while the whole world looked on with dismay and the prominent judicial officers in India pronounced it "judicial murder."

What more proof could Canada want of the success of the Indian methods? Again and again the Indian authorities reminded Canada that it was being "too soft" on the Sikhs. The attempt to get a clue to the identities of the suspects by asking a further set of nineteen questions[6] was ignored by Canada. India, again and again banged its wise, aging head against the rock of such sticklers for law that the new fangled society in Canada had come to acquire.

Had Canada played ball, there was nothing easier than securing conviction in the Kaniska case. India had worked hard to arrange matters that way. It had taken many concrete steps to make the Sikhs blame-worthy in the Canadian mind. It had launched an operation to penetrate the Sikh society, with the object of making the Sikhs quarrel among themselves in their places of worship and with the Hindus outside them. Seamy stories were planted regularly in the media. Had Canadian authorities not understood the manipulation trick, the Canadian society would have hated the Sikhs to the depth of its being.

A vigorous campaign of disinformation had been launched. During about a year prior to June 23, 1985, the Indian authorities had delivered more than eighty-seven warnings which mentioned Indian aeroplanes, June 1985, bomb explosions, assassination of the ambassador, hijacks and the imaginary Sikh ‘terrorists.' Main object of the exercise was to indicate ominously that something horrendous was about to happen and that Canada should make advance preparations, in the classical Indian mode, to hang a couple of Sikhs for it. The secondary objective was to ‘tire out'[7] the Canadian police force by crying wolf once too often so that it would be too confused to think for itself when the deed was done and would be eating out of India's hands at that moment of crisis.

By way of abundant precaution, measures befitting a mature civilisation had been taken well in advance to make the events happen to clock like precision. India would have had no face to show to the world had the event not happened even after world wide propaganda to establish all Sikhs as terrorists. So everything was arranged well in advance[8]. The people to be blamed had been mentioned in the warnings delivered by India. Some like Ajaib Singh Bagri had been fattened like goats before the slaughter. One was given a two million-dollar loan from an Indian Government bank in Canada. Another person had been built up as "the most dangerous terrorist" and a sworn enemy of India. He was accused of crimes that took place in India even when he was abroad. A regular contact with him was maintained by the Indian government. His family was well looked after. Then all of a sudden he was arrested in Germany, when the master plan required his presence elsewhere.

So the head of a prestigious Indian secret agency, advisor to the Indian Prime Minister, travelled all the way to Germany and had him released[9] to be available for accusing when the mega-event happened. After the event, he ostensibly refused to support the official version. So in the style of KGB and the Gestapo of the earlier part of the century, he was lured to India, arrested and eventually executed while in police custody. He became another one, literally of tens of thousands of Sikhs, to have been disposed of thus by mera Bharat mahan (my great India), as the slogan goes.

Those of the new generation not conversant with the long established traditions of Hindutava, may ask why was the Indian government interested in destroying its own plane and killing its own people to blame its own citizens. They are entitled to ask such questions as even the burning of the Third Reich, the fake discovery of the Jewish plot to kill all Christians, and the mass graves of Stalinist Russia in Mongolia and elsewhere have become a distant memory. Who remembers what has been happening to the Jews and Gypsies in Europe from times immemorial? So how could they be expected to remember that from the beginning of history, the Indian state has instinctively found a violent solution to every vital problem it was confronted with?

Who remembers the fate of Buddhists in ancient India when even the violent partition of the country in 1947 (costing more than half a million lives where a simple exchange of population could have been a more effective solution) is hardly ever recalled for learning a lesson?

If a comprehensive list of governments which have destroyed their own populations were to be drawn up, it would perhaps be many yards long. Such selectively self-destroying states would be seen to belong to all ages, all continents and (almost) all cultures. And yet the gullibility of rabidly patriotic elements among the population of any given country continues to promote the myth that such a thing could never happen. The large scale killing of Sikhs in almost all the north Indian cities, in early November 1984 was witnessed by journalists from all over the world who had come to report on the funeral of Indira Gandhi. The reports filed by them concealed every vital detail of the event of Sikh massacre that they partly covered.

Joe Clark, the Canadian Foreign Minister, who also witnessed the corpses and more, never opened his mouth to register even legitimate human right concerns. Nations that have high economic and political expectations live in glass houses; they do not cast stones.

Why was a plan to decimate the Sikhs ever conceived? It is an easy question to answer. Indira Gandhi of the notorious Nehru-Gandhi dynasty was an easily alarmed person. She had been thrown out of power for almost three years before her return in February 1980; she perceived Indian politics to be tending that way again because of rising Hindu fundamentalism. She wanted to exploit the situation to her own political advantage while still retaining the fig leaf of being a secular person heading a non-communal political party in a democratic tradition. This was quite a tight rope walk but she performed it to perfection[10].

The ground was prepared for her by the ongoing Akali political agitation for autonomy and for retention of Punjab's river water for internal use. In international terms the Sikhs were a defenceless people, just perfect sitting ducks. She created a "shadowy" outfit known as the Third Agency, in the early 1980s. This top secret organisation was mandated to encourage extremist activity by Sikh radicals in Punjab. The aim was to rally support for the government throughout the country. The countermeasures it inflicted upon Punjab in reaction to Sikh violence made the government appear to be acting from strength and with leadership." She was brutal to the Sikhs, clamped inhumane laws upon the Punjab, denied the democratic processes to the state, drained it of its river water, destroyed the holiest Sikh shrines and killed the Sikhs in hundreds of thousands.

No one wanted to be caught on the side of fair play and justice for the sake of a miniscule Sikh minority. From ultra-Hindu leaders like Atal Bihari Vajpayee to the Communists, anyone who was someone supported her measures against the Sikhs. Her dwindling electoral support was restored and her Congress party won an unprecedented majority at the polls after her assassination. She obtained the object of her striving although she herself was killed in the process.

The propaganda blitz launched against the Sikhs to paint them as terrorists and to malign the whole community as violence prone, was not limited to India. It was a campaign that was conducted all over the world. Agents inciting Sikhs to react violently were everywhere performing their duties efficiently. News of violence from one place was used to sow suspicion in all lands and to condemn the Sikhs everywhere. Foreign governments were prevented from looking at the Sikh freedom struggle in India with sympathy. It was in this context that the propaganda value of blowing up an Air India plane was realised and the plot executed. It cannot be denied that the gamble paid off and almost the entire world was misled. Those who knew the truth preferred to keep quiet for the fear of being considered freaks. What was the point of speaking up for the Sikhs who were a miniscule minority in every society? Wisdom dictated toeing the party line. Nations were persuaded to look the other way because India was perceived to be a country with a large middle class of prospective consumers of goods every country was keen to export.

Now that everything is over, the concern of the grieving relatives of those who perished in the plane tragedy and that of the assiduously benumbed lovers of truth may perhaps be addressed. It is a harsh reality that investigation in the case was not done with the view to arriving at the truth. It is a tribute to the Canadian system of justice that make-belief did not pass muster with its courts. It is time also to pay a tribute to the acumen of the RCMP, the CSIS, that in spite of the severe constraints, they kept the truth somewhere at the back of their minds and made only some half-hearted attempts at manufacturing evidence, that too under Indian influence. The FBI appears to have been more loyal than the king in the matter of crafting evidence for the trial.

Without immediately going into the factors responsible for the public stance of the Canadian investigating agencies, an attempt may be made to know whether they discovered the truth about the destruction of the plane or not. On going through the Security Intelligence Review Committee Report, one will be convinced that not only did the security agencies have a clear idea of those responsible for the disaster but that they were fully aware of the modus operandi and had kept an eye on every move made by the real criminal. To begin with, Canadians had correctly identified the basic nature of the conflict between the Sikh people and the Indian government. The Sikhs were perceived as being disturbed over the "increasing political power of the Hindu majority" and the government refusal to "provide the desired territory and autonomy[11]."

The assessment about the Government of India was that it was "frustrated over the activities of the Sikh nationalists"[12] and resorted to large scale violence against the Sikh religion and the people. Sikhs all over the world responded to these conditions prevailing in their original homeland[13]. The Director General was not misled by the emotional upsurge and in an early assessment he was sure that the protests would not constitute a "threat to national security in Canada"[14].

Canada fully understood the measures being adopted by the Government of India to discredit the Sikhs all over the world. The Third Agency had been created for the purpose and the foreign lands including Canada had been inundated by spies working as agents provocateur under the garb of diplomats[15]. Their main assignment was to discredit the Sikhs by projecting them as violence prone,[16], promoting internecine conflict in the Sikh society, fomenting Hindu-Sikh conflict[17] and spreading disinformation about the Sikh people[18]. The aim of the government of India was to control and monitor the Sikh movement abroad[19] and has been well documented by the authors of the Soft Target who had this information straight from the horse's mouth[20].

To keep in touch with reality, the Canadian police continuously monitored the management of the foreign print and the visual media by the Government of India officials[21].

In its threat perceptions conveyed to the Canadian security agencies, the Indian government tried to project their own agents - disguised as Sikhs - as the most dangerous terrorists. Just as it had done in innumerable cases in India, it fattened the goose by attributing violent activity to them in India and by projecting their potential for violence abroad. This served the purpose of establishing their own agents as vocal Sikh nationalists. They could thus penetrate the group of real freedom fighters for the purpose of sabotaging the movement from within. They could also be relied upon to vouchsafe for the government at a crucial time. They would at least be the obvious targets of blame in the public eye.

Talwinder Singh Parmar was one individual who was carefully built up by the Indian government to perform the designated purpose[22]. He was accused of having killed two policemen at Daheru. The main source of this information was an affidavit by another policeman.

The CSIS had come to know that according to reliable evidence he was in Nepal at the time of the alleged encounter with the police at Daheru[23]. It discovered that he was well known to a friend of the ex-President of India,[24] was meeting Indian government officials[25] and that his family was being helped and economically promoted by Indian government officials[26]. He himself was perhaps being heavily financed by the Indian mission abroad[27]. He did not eventually toe the government line and had to be eliminated while in the custody of the Indian police[28] in the same manner as thousands of other Sikhs had been eliminated. This agent of the Government of India was posthumously acknowledged as having been guilty. (Judgment, para 1256).

The above does not leave anyone in doubt that the Canadian authorities were very well informed about the situation of the Sikhs in India and abroad. They knew full well the attempts being made by the Indian government to destroy them by all the means at its disposal. But does it also mean that Canada suspected the Indian government's hand in blowing up the plane?

Initially, it appeared reluctant to believe that such an action by a responsible government was possible.[29] Then they discovered the Indian government's proneness to violence at every possible opportunity. India offered to use torture as a tool of investigation on behalf of Canada law enforcing agencies.[30] The Indian Consul General based in Toronto was discovered destroying his own office to blame it on the Sikhs[31].

An Indian diplomat who could plot the murder of seventeen Sikhs on foreign land[32] and who could plan to inflict violence upon a foreign journalist he did not like,[33], could obviously go to any length. Direct evidence was soon forth coming[34]. More the investigating agencies thought about, it the more suspicious they grew.[35] And the further they probed, more enlightened they became. Finally they became fully convinced that blowing up the plane was indeed the handiwork of the Government of India's secret services.[36] (Is it now possible to suggest that political Canada had been intimidated into permitting the plane to be blown up?)

By and by, the Canadian security agencies had unearthed the entire plan in as much detail as was possible without interrogating the real perpetrators. The person who had bought the tickets was identified with reasonable certainty. He was an associate of the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) in British Columbia.[37] It almost certainly known who had planted the bomb. At one time it was seriously suspected that the diplomatic "bags may have contained the bomb"[38]. In the circumstances, a call by an "East Indian male" calling ostensibly from the Indian embassy on the evening of June 22, 1985, became significant. He had enquired whether the diplomatic bags had been placed on flight 182.[39] Perhaps it was no coincidence that M. Singh whom the Indian ambassador had identified as one of the persons who had checked in the lethal luggage, was also discovered to have been a "prosperous East Indian businessman"[40].

It is again significant that when the RCMP wanted to investigate the diplomatic mail issue, it was effectively prevented from doing so, obviously on political directions.[41] It is easy to guess why this spanner was thrown into the wheels of investigation.

Independence of the investigating agencies had been compromised right from the beginning by the desires and dictates of the External Affairs Ministry,[42] particularly those of Joe Clark, the External Affairs minister. They had made known Canadian government's anxiety to keep India on its right side for economic and political reasons[43]. Unwritten instructions to investigating agencies apparently required compromises with attempts to discover facts. On reading the SIRC report in this context, one is struck by the helplessness of the secret agencies which feel completely gagged on account of effective political interference.

In spite of it all, they need a word of praise for having still expressed themselves in favour of the truth. With remarkable candour, they brought it on record that ‘although the disaster was not a terrorist act, they are under orders to investigate it only as such[44].' They also recorded the name of the actual culprit without investigating any further in that direction[45]. The report frankly admits that there is not a shred of evidence to accuse Ripudaman Singh Malik and yet the RCMP hauled him up before the court[46].

Jingoistic Indians may hold their heads high for India appears to have asserted itself over Canada in the grand manner of a colonial power imposing its will on a slave nation. It wanted to establish that as a sovereign it had done no wrong even when it had killed 329 human beings. This ‘nehklank' (blemishless) status of India was accepted by Canada with a bowed head and lowered gaze. But that does not mean that it gave in without coercion. India had to quite seriously threaten breaking off relations[47]. Canada knew that the Sikh people were being persecuted without a cause[48] but patiently accepted censures by Indian bureaucrats about being "too soft" with them[49]. Such admonitions as vocal Indian contempt for Canadian law were accepted without a murmur[50].

The Canadian government bore insults and continued to share information at the instance of Joe Clark although it knew that it was being used to torture innocent people in India and to spread canards against the Sikh people world wide. A stop to it was put only at the initiative of conscientious individuals[51]. The plight of the poor beleaguered Sikhs of Canada was nobody's concern[52]. Canada as well as India appeared to believe that they owned the Sikhs in the fashion of slaves of days gone by and asserted their right to make them as miserable as they could in this age.

The hour in which Canada was forced to proceed with the trial against two Sikhs whom it knew very well to have been innocent, was the hour of India's triumph. But the Judgment is the triumph of Canada's love for justice but the behaviour of the prosecution in asking for the trial and inventing almost every piece of evidence produced in the court is enough to make one feel that it was acting on promptings by a hidden force. Almost every one of the witnesses was, in Indian terms, ‘procured.' All of them were untrustworthy and lied to the court after taking an oath to tell the truth. One openly confessed to having received US$ 500,000. He was the American find. (India's triumph appears to have known no borders).

Uncle Sam, the only superman in today's world, also bent over backwards to please India. The Honourable Judge's assessment of the witnesses is revealing. Going by the strong words used, it must have disgusted him no end. One is described as an "unmitigated liar under oath" (paras 225 & 1282) whose evidence "was patently and pathetically fabricated" (para 1284). The oft repeated "memory refreshing exercise" (Judgment, para 1107) of the witnesses by the prosecution appears to have amused him. Of another witness, he writes (in para 1141): "His credibility has been examined and found wanting to a very significant degree."

Citing of Reyat as witness and all the preparation that went into enabling him to be so cited, appears to be a very murky judicial scandal. Maybe some day someone will go into it to the benefit of justice and fair play.

"Mehr licht!" - (let there be) more light!

The concerns of Indian politicians and the sanguine section of Indian media are still the same. They want the Sikhs to hang for the crimes of Mother India's devilish daughter and her son, so that her garments remain unsoiled in the public record. They have full-throated praise for the despoilers of God's house and killers of hundreds of thousands of innocent Sikhs whom the authorities were duty bound to protect. They do not know that Dame History is more powerful than minions and charlatans masquerading as leaders of a great people. There must be sufficient number of lovers of truth all around the world to point out to them that ‘all the Neptune's oceans will not wash this blood ` from that little hand.


[1] Soft Target, pp.91/92//93. On August 2, 1984 at 9:50 pm Laila Singh, a manager at Meenambakkam International Airport in Madras, was told by an anonymous telephone caller that two suitcases lying in the customs inspection area contained rock-blasting explosives and were set to blow up within an hour. - warning was treated as a hoax. The bombs went off at 10:52 pm killing twenty-nine people and injuring thirty-eight others. Local police linked the bombing to terrorists in Sri Lanka --/ -- would be automatically loaded on the cargo hold of two Air Lanka planes bound for London and Paris. - CSIS was astounded that such similar plans could be hatched in opposite parts of the world.// The Indian intelligence group linked to the Madras bombings was a shadowy outfit known as the Third Agency, CSIS learned

[2] Soft Target,72. Flight 182 left - at 8:15 pm-one hour and forty minutes behind schedule. Left Mirabel at 10:18. - Flight 182 was one hour away - from London -a bomb exploded at 7:14 am. Soft Target,72. Flight 182 left - at 8:15 pm-one hour and forty minutes behind schedule. Left Mirabel at 10:18. - Flight 182 was one hour away - from London -a bomb exploded at 7:14 am.

[3] Report, 114: "within 15 hours of the crash, Indian consular officials in Canada attributed the crash to two Sikhs fleeing the FBI in the USA. Surinder Lal Malik, the Consul General in Toronto, told the media that the FBI were trying to find two Sikhs."/ Soft Target, 86. Within sixteen hours of the crash - consul general Srinder Malik, in Toronto - wrote a story in Globe and Mail - headlined "Police seeking two fugitives for bombs on jets" -Lal Singh and Amand Singh - that check at CP Air computer would confirm presence of L. Singh on the passengers list. -- curiously, Malik knew more details about the two blasts than did the police investigators.

[4] Page 46: "As early as June 24 or 25, 1985, the CSIS Security Liaison Officer (SLO) was called in by the Director of RAW who required answers to a number of questions concerning the investigation of the Air India disaster. These questions focussed on the identification of the perpetrators and the method of delivery of bomb to the aircraft through unaccompanied baggage. Interestingly, the line of inquiry suggested by the Director's questions at this early stage, was similar to the line the investigation eventually took."

[5] Soft Target, 87. - Surinder Malik - cancelled seats for his wife and daughter on flight 182. - Siddharatha Singh - Indian bureaucrat - visited - Malik one week before the crash - booked to return - abroad the doomed flight 182 - changed his travel plans at the last minute.

[6] Report, 51: "On August 1, 1985, the SLO Delhi reported that -the Head of RAW - had presented a further 19 questions - to be answered by CSIS. These questions mainly involved the criminal investigation and the identity of suspects."

[7] Soft Target, 61. "They had worn the service down mentally to an extent that when it [the Air India crash] happened, it took everyone by surprise."- Gibson

[8] Soft Target, 53. The answer to India's dilemma was to bring terrorism to North America via the Sikhs. If the Sikhs were reluctant they could be persuaded, provoked and, if necessary, manipulated by agents provocateurs.

[9] Report, 105: "- unconfirmed reports (were) - (that during his) incarceration in Germany -- Parmar was visited by - Kao - head of the "Third Agency" - a former Director of RAW and an adviser to the Indian Prime Minister - Kao was responsible for having Parmar released from the West German gaol."

[10] Soft Target, xiii - Her strategy was simple - foment racial and religious tensions in order to discredit her enemies and reinforce her party's image as the guardian of law and order.

Soft Target, 34/35. "Pat Olson a seasoned Security Service agent -/He outlined his research into the strategy used by Indian government to destabilize minority populations, provoke them into violence and then crack down upon them."

[11] Report, 1. The Sikhs were concerned that their position in society was being eroded due to the increasing political power of the Hindu majority and failure of the government in power to provide the desired territory and autonomy.

[12] Report, 7. GOI "frustrated over the activities of Sikh nationalists, sent troops into the Golden Temple at Amritsar - resulted in many hundreds of deaths.'

[13] (3) Report, 2. The attack enraged the entire Sikh community both in India and abroad and led to the assassination of Indira Gandhi by her Sikh bodyguards.

[14] Director General's assessment in December 1981- Regarding Khalistan movement

Report, 4. "--- although this situation has potential for diplomatic embarrassment, there is no perceived threat to national security from/ Sikh activities in Canada."

Report, 6. Jan-Feb 1983. RCMP/SS Liaison Officer in Delhi says Air India under threat.

Canadian Assessment: Security Services Headquarters: "-- there has been little or no violent reaction in Canada - Security Service does not have any information to indicate a threat to Air India at Mirabel -."

[15] Report, 92: "- the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) was monitoring the Indo-Sikh communities in Toronto and Vancouver. - CSIS knew about RAW activities to "neutralise" the Sikh independence movement in Canada -."

Report, 93: "RCMP sent trace request to CIA - in September 1983 - response - confirmed - not only was (Surinder) Kumar (First Secretary to Indian High Commission) a RAW officer, but so was Davinder Singh Ahluwalia (Consul Toronto) -."

Report, 94: The RAW methods included activities intended to create discord among the Sikh émigrés, controlling or influencing the leadership of Sikh temples, and a systematic program of disinformation to discredit the Sikh activities. - CSIS knew that RAW had infiltrated the Sikh community and promoted dissensions and confrontation to discredit the Khalistan movement." [M. K. Dhar, Open Secrets, 289,293]

[16] Report, 9: IHC in Canada informed that "Sikh extremists would attack AI aircraft." On June 18, 1984, it requested for "strict security cover for AI Flight 181/182."

Report, 9: "Between May 1, 1984 and end of July 1984, a total of seventeen such threat assessments were provided -" by the SS and CSIS to the RCMP VIP Security branch.

Report, 12/13: "again in September 1984, --Indian Government - bombing of Hindu temple or blowing up of Air India Aircraft."

Report, 13: "-Indian Reports that Bagri was planning to hijack an Air India aircraft."

Page 15: "December 31, 1984 manager of Air India operation at Mirabel Airport wrote to - Hijacking and sabotage were mentioned."

Report, 15: "On February 20, 1985, the India Government again protested about Sikh extremist activities - and demanded more action by Canadian Government to combat this."

Report, 17: "April 10, 1985 Indian High Commission reported - Air India Flight 181arriving in Toronto on April 13 would be hijacked."

Report, 20/21: "May 17, 1985 - Indian High Commission in Ottawa -letter sent-to the RCMP to ensure protection of/ Air India Aircraft, passengers and cargo during June 1984-."

Report, 21: " Winnipeg police reported that on May 27, 1985, --East Indian male called to say - that Sikh extremists were planning to bomb the Vancouver Consulate and the High Commission in Ottawa on June 6."

Report, 22: "The RCMP - received several requests from Air India Officials for extra security - on June 6, 1985."

Report, 23: "June 5, 1985, CSIS received report from its liaison officer in Delhi that -RAW -five Sikhs - taken oath to kill Rajiv Gandhi.

Report, 27: "Between July 14, 1984 1and June 1, 1985, -- we saw seventy threat assessments that were disseminated -."

[17] Report, 14: "October 31, 1984, -- attacks by Hindus on the Sikhs-in India-- triggered serious animosity between the two groups in Canada."

Report, 100: "October 1984, -prominent Sikhs in Canada received threatening letters - originated in Toronto - home to - Shiv Sena ("God of death") - suspected by CSIS - some pro-Khalistan Sikhs were recipients of threatening phone calls from the "Hindu Sabha" and the Indian Consul General Sharma was one of those behind the action. - CSIS had information that Shiv Sena received funds from Consul General Malik in Toronto who was reportedly a member of the parent organisation in India. -Malik would purposely provoke the Sikhs to take action (e.g., demonstration) so that Malik could report to the local media and back home (to India) that Sikhs were extremists."

[18] (A) Soft Target, 3 "- As a matter of fact, the Indian Government has informed me that the Sikh separatists are an embarrassment to India - They wanted me to get tough with them."
Soft Target, 45. After Operation Bluestar, the Indian plan was to hijack the separatist movement abroad.

Report, 11. "- Indian Government - advised the Central Intelligence Agency that nine Sikhs from Canada would be travelling to the Summer Olympic Games in Los Angeles for the purpose of attacking India Athletes - Ajaib Singh Bagri - some of whom were known to the Service, were not believed to associate with each other as a group and the credibility of the threat was assessed as low."

Report, 9. On June 7, 1984, Indian High Commission reported alleged Babbar Khalsa threat received through the IHC in London that "Consul General in Vancouver would be assassinated. - However Security Service in a message to the RCMP VIP Security branch, expressed some doubt whether it existed as an identifiable organisation in Canada."

Report, 9. July 5, 1984 - "Air India to RCMP Airport Policing branch - Sikh resentment might focus on Air India and that bomb threats - during July 7-8, 1984. - the weekend passed without incident-."

Report, 14: "Indian Government in Delhi provided information - Sikhs abroad were planning to send a team to India to assassinate the President and the Prime Minister. - CSIS headquarters expressed the view that the advice was another example of Indian Government misinformation."

Report, 101: The Government of India provided numerous warnings of Sikh intentions for the probable purpose of discrediting them."

Report,Annex G page 2: 1985 "In April the Australian Secret Intelligence Organization advised CSIS they were concerned about the accuracy of GOI reports on Sikh extremism in communities outside India."

[19] Report, 96: "GOI wanted to control the grassroots movement in Canada and the USA.

[20] Soft Target, 128/129//130. Brigadier Brij Mohan Lal was an intelligence operative under diplomatic cover./He acknowledged that a group known as the Third Agency was a task force with a mandate to divide, destablize and destroy Khalistan movement in Punjab through the use of//undercover officers, paid informers and agents provocateurs, he said.

[21] Report, Annex I page 1: "They believed that the Indian Government planted stories in the media. Their critique quoted two news items, one from Toronto and the other from New York. Both articles reflected poorly on all Sikhs. The source of the second article was identified as an official of the Indian Government."

Soft Target, 86/87. Malik continually fed the Globe information pointing to Sikh terrorists as source of the bombs. He was behind another story six days later - Áir-India pilot reported given parcel by Sikh" --/"black box" made it clear that there had been no explosion in the {censored}pit.

Soft Target, 19. Gurdial Kanwal, editor of the Punjabi paper in Toronto, Navin Dharti, accepted money to print articles generated by the consulate.

[22] Report, 6. "Security Services received Government of India information through the British security authorities identifying Parmar as the leader of a Sikh extremist group called the Babbar Khalsa -."

Report, 7. July 11,1984- Indian Government statement describing Parmar as the "most dangerous Sikh terrorist presently at large and could pose a threat to our VIPs."

Report, 102: "on July 31, 1984, GOI provided CSIS' SLO in New Delhi with a list of Sikhs in Canada - which could imperil India VIPs. On the list was Talwinder Singh Parmar."

[23] Soft Target, 99. Parmar was accused of murdering two policemen in Punjab on November 19, 1981, --Daheru - The Punjab police report stated that the pair "were murdered by a group - which included Talwinder Singh Parmar-Parmar, however, may not have been in India - He maintained -- that he was in Nepal. Other evidence would later support his claim.

[24] Report, 105: Parmar had contacts with - Jiwan Singh - a close associate of the ex-President of India."

[25] Report, 103: "-the Service continued to report that Parmar was one of Allevwalia's agents."

Report, 104: "Parmar met with Allevwalia in a Brampton, Ontario hotel in March 1985. - CSIS reported that Parmar visited the High Commission in August 1984."

Surjan Singh Gill, Talwinder Singh Parmar, Ajaib Singh Bagri, Malik were frequently mentioned by the wolf crying GOI in its threat perceptions conveyed to the Canadian authorities. They were thus established as terrorists by adverse propaganda.

Report, 12: "This gave rise to speculation that Parmar was an agent of the Indian Government and that some of his activities in preaching violence were directed by them to discredit the separatist movement."

Soft Target, 117. CSIS, (was) fully convinced that Parmar was an intelligence agent-

[26] Report, 104: "the former Chief Minister of the Punjab provided Parmar's sister with a letter of safe passage for the Punjab and a reference letter for Parmar; she also received a visa to conduct family business in India;"

[27] Report, 105: Parmar's relative wealth and his long period of unemployment fuelled speculation -."

[28] The Tribune, June 7, 1997, (9): "Kanishka bombing suspect killed in custody". Toronto June 6. "- was killed while in police custody in India CBC Radio reported yesterday. --278 people on board the plane were Canadian citizens. - was reportedly killed four and half years ago in a shootout with the police, actually dies while in police custody. - government owned radio network said - Parmar - was interrogated for as much as three months by the Indian police before being killed while in custody. - The Foreign Minister, Mr. Lloyd Axworthy, said - "We will be undertaking to discuss it with the India authorities immediately."

[29] Report, 102: prior to the crash, the Services did not suspect that the GOI would be involved in any action to discredit the Sikh movement which involved loss of life in Canada or the destruction of an aircraft."

[30] Report, 47/48: Chief Superintendent Bolanger - sensed from exchange of information with Indian authorities suggested torture to elicit confession and warned his force, "not to become a pawn in the suspected scheme advocated by foreign officials whereby torture is grossly regarded as an investigational tool as opposed to a crime."

Report, 48: "-request by RAW officials for information on suspects in Canada identified in the RCMP/CSIS investigations, so that relatives of the suspects in India could be questioned."

[31] Report, 97/98: "- on June 6, 1984, a Sikh activist, Jasbir Singh Saini, vandalised the Indian Consulate in Toronto. - Charges were dropped when Consul General refused to testify in court after/it was learned the Consul General further damaged his office to make it appear the destruction was more extensive and to further discredit the Sikhs."

[32] Report, 112: "-the GOI had a plan to assassinate 17 Sikhs."

[33] Report, 116: "At the end of December 1985, RAW officer B. M. Lal suggested to Surgit (Surjit) Mahal that "he or his associate should cause Kashmeri physical harm in retaliation for his articles."

Soft Target, 26. (Security Service) "They also had evidence that the violence at the demonstration where Fernandes had been shot had been engineered by officials from the consulate."

[34] Report, 114: "A September 1987 article by Kashmeri quoted a former RCMP drug informer who said he warned the RCMP of an Air India Crash days before the incident and was a GOI informant. The Solicitor General responded in Parliament that informer's tip was not specific and that and the RCMP had terminated their association with the drug informer in 1986."

[35] Soft Target, 84. The CSIS investigators slowly became convinced that the Indian intelligence service may have played a role in the bombings. And the further they probed, more their suspicion grew.

Soft Target, 84. The CSIS investigators slowly became convinced that the Indian intelligence service may have played a role in the bombings.

[36] Soft Target, 85. So convinced had CSIS become of the GOI connection that, at one Air India task force meeting, a CSIS

agent had seriously suggested that "if you really want to clear the incident quickly, take vans down to the Indian High Commission and the consulate in Toronto and Vancouver, load up everybody and take them down for questioning. We know it and they know it that they are involved."

[37] Report, 112: " The Director General of BC Region agreed in August to give RCMP the identities of - agents of the RAW intelligence officer in Vancouver, Gurinder Singh. Later that month one of Singh's associates purportedly recognised a man in Sikh temple video who resembled the person who bought the airplane tickets; the Region suspected the RAW officers "hand" in the matter."

[38] Report, 120. At the end of July 1985, RCMP informed CSIS HQ that two Indian diplomatic bags - were to have been placed on board Air India flight 182 to travel east to Bombay. The regular routing was the most direct - west via Japan Airlines - concern was raised that the bags may have contained the bomb.

[39] Report, 121: "Two Air Canada agents in Toronto received tel


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1947-2014 (Archived)
Jun 17, 2004
Thanks. In my estimation we now have the last piece of the puzzle falling nicely into place. The outrage, vitriolic news coverage, and biased accusations in the media and among certain politicians who claim that so-called Sikh "extremists" "terrorists" and "separatists" are tearing Canada apart. This began most notably with a certain Vaisakhi celebration and pro-Khalistan floats remembering shaheeds.

Is it co-incidental? Is a coincidence that these dozens of articles and speeches lead up to the publication of this book on June 17, 2010?

India to Canada then, "Again and again the Indian authorities reminded Canada that it was being "too soft" on the Sikhs."

India to Canada now, "The government of India has warned Canadian officials in Ottawa of the regrouping of violent Sikh separatists, the Vancouver Sun reported Tuesday.A senior official with the Indian High Commission told the Sun Monday the issue of the Khalistan movement was raised by India as recently as three days ago with Canadian officials.We do believe there is a certain resurgence of this movement here..." (Moldova.org)

So do the warnings, hints and winks of GOI officials to the Canadian government satisfy us that there are rats among the Sikh diaspora in Canada? I am sure there are a few rats here and there. How many and how influential are they, as compared to the swine?

This is a tragedy.

Great sympathy is owed to the families of the victims. They lost their loved ones, and cannot get closure. And they are not well-served by the machinery that is described in this book summary either. And this is also a tragedy.

P/S I have commented in other threads about the slavish adoration of the name Gandhi among US politicians and policy wonks. Criticism of Uncle Same does not surprise me, and in fact bolsters what has been only my inference on this point.
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Tejwant Singh

Jun 30, 2004
Henderson, NV.
Indian Government is famous for not giving justice a chance and this shows that the Canadians are not far behind.

No one cares about the victims including those who were innocently charged for the crimes they never committed and rotted in jail for five years.

Unless Canada comes clean in this and points fingers where they are needed to be pointed at, its democracy has the biggest stain on it which can only be erased with justice for all the victims.

Tejwant Singh


1947-2014 (Archived)
Jun 17, 2004
Tejwant ji

In the past hour or so I have been researching the FBI's involvement. This article turned up. The article is from a journal on aviation, and is not per se dedicated to political analysis. Yet it raised questions when it was written. The article content is tangential to the FBI, but I found it truly amazing. The date 2004 is important. The date coincides with the trial of 2 men accused and found innocent by Canadian Courts on appeal. 2004 -- it precedes the Major's report by 6 years. Apparently there was information and information got buried.

"As the weeks of July passed the police evidence began to mount. An examination of passenger lists and computer records indicated that a traveller by the name of L. Singh had checked in at Vancouver but had failed to board CP Air's Flight 003 to Tokyo's Narita Airport. L. Singh was also booked on Air India Flight 301 from Narita to Bangkok. Another passenger, M. Singh, had also checked in at Vancouver for CP Air's Flight 060 to Toronto, and he had failed to turn up as well. In both instances their bags had been loaded. M. Singh had not been confirmed on Flight 182 because of overbooking at the time of reserving his seat, but he was wait-listed for the trip. It was not permitted to check straight through, or interline piece of luggage onto a flight for which a passenger was (only wait-listed, so what had become of M. Singh and his bag? And where had L. Singh gone? The Canadian investigation also began to unravel a confusing sequence of bookings which had been made in the name of various Singhs, including one A. Singh, in the days leading up to the tragedy. The situation was proving to he suspicious, to say the least. The vast majority of the Sikhs in Vancouver were hard working, law abiding citizens, but the plot to assassinate Rajiv Ghandi in the US indicated that extremist elements did exist in such communities. In fact, two of the names used in booking flights matched the names of the two Sikhs wanted by the FBI. It was doubtful if those implicated in the scheme to kill Gandhi were connected with events in Vancouver, but the names in which flights were booked seemed to have been deliberately chosen to advertise the fact that a Sikh terrorist group was involved. If Flight 182 had been downed by a bomb, the motives for sabotage were becoming clear. Yet one strange fact confused the inquiry: no Sikh extremist organisation claimed responsibility. On that front there was total silence." from AirDisaster.Com