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Canada to mark 20th anniversary of Kanishka bombing
June 09, 2005 16:13 IST
Two decades after the mid-air bombing of Air-India flight Kanishka that killed 329 people, Canada will commemorate the 20th anniversary of the disaster on June 23, with Prime Minister Paul Martin joining a memorial service in Ireland and flags across the country being lowered to half mast.
In a rare gesture, Martin met with grieving relatives of victims of the tragedy on Monday night and announced a national day of mourning on June 23 in memory of those killed in the 1985 air crash.
After his over two-hour audience with the relatives, who have been angry over the court verdict which acquitted all the accused in the case, Martin said: "This is one of the greatest losses this country has ever suffered in terms of sheer numbers. But when you meet the families, you are not talking about numbers, you are talking about a mother, or a
father, or a uncle, or you are talking about children, and it is very, very real."
Martin said he will travel to Ireland for a special 20th anniversary memorial service on June 23.
The Bombay-bound Air-India flight was blown off the coast of Ireland, killing all 329 people on board, most of them Canadians.
A Royal Canadian court in March acquitted Ripudaman Singh Malik and Ajaib Singh Bagri, the main accused in the case, due to lack of evidence, triggering a wave of protests from family members of the victims.