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Terror groups will not be given any quarter: Canada

Source: PTI
June 19, 2010 15:44 IST
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Canada said on Saturday that terrorist groups would not be given any quarter in the nation even as it stepped up security at airports and other vital installation as recommended by the Kanishka inquiry commission.

Talking to the families of the victims of the Air India aircraft bombing, most of them of India-origin, Canadian Immigration Minister Jason Kenney said the compensation package for them would be worked out fast and other major findings of the commission would also be implemented speedily.

An Air India Flight 182, Kanishka plunged into the Atlantic on June 23, 1985, after an explosion in the aircraft killing all 329 people on board. A probe led by retired Supreme Court Justice John Major blamed the Canadian police and intelligence for laxity in not detecting the bombs.

Kenney, who met them on behalf of Prime Minister Stephen Harper, made it clear that the government would not support in any manner any terrorist group. Canada has large number of Sikh radicals who have taken shelter in the country.

"The government is committed to implement recommendations made by Justice John Major inquiry commission as far as feasible in a reasonable period of time," he said.

Kenney, who invited the families of Kanishka victims and top leaders of Indo-Canadian community for their comments about the report, said that similar meetings would be held in Montreal and Vancouver shortly.

He said that the government would take Justice John Major's recommendations into consideration and make sure "we drive forward with real change, and the bureaucracy will not be allowed to scuttle them."

A group of more than 20 families of the Kanishka victims, including Lata Pada and Bal Gupta, told the minister that the government must act to implement the report without any delay and should involve the families in speedyimplementation of the report.

Kenney sought active support from the Indo-Canadian community in curbing the activities of banned Sikh groups.

In his 3,200-page report, Kanishka inquiry commissioner John Major criticised the way successive governments treated the families.

The report found plenty of blame to spread around, with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service and successive federal governments.

Lata Pada, whose husband and two daughters died in the tragedy, said, "If the government is sincere about the support for families, then they must implement the recommendations without delay to help prevent a similar tragedy from occurring."

Bal Gupta, who lost his wife and two sons, suggested that the government should seek undertaking from newcomers that they did not belong to any banned organisations; and members of the outlawed groups should not be allowed to sit onthe board of Charitable Trusts which support terrorism or glorification of terrorism.

Asha Luthra, president of the Indo-Canada Chamber of Commerce, demanded that the government must disclose scheme of compensation to the families of victims. Radha Krishna who lost his wife in the tragedy made the similar demand.
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