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Toronto Indians to pay homage to blast victims

July 21, 2006 21:20 IST

Canadian 'Friends of India' are expecting hundreds of people to gather on July 25 at the Queen's Park, seat of Ontario Government in Toronto, to pay homage to the victims of the recent bombings of trains in Mumbai.

The condolence meeting has the support of social, cultural, religious and non-partisan business organisations across Toronto and suburban cities, says chief oganiser Ajit Someshwar. Co-organizers of the event include Dr. Bhudendra Doobay, president of the Vishnu Hindu Temple, and businessman and Hindu temple board member, Ramesh Chotai.  Indian Consul-General Satish Mehta is also providing full support to the condolence meeting and candle light vigil, Someshwar told this reporter. 

The event is  being organised "to mark the end of the second week since the dastardly act was perpetrated leading to the loss of over 180 innocent lives and injuring over another 700,"   Someshwar, former President of Indo-Canada Chamber of Commerce,  said.

The objective is "to pay homage to the victims and offer our deepest sympathies to the city as well as praise 'Mumbaikars' (Bombayites) for the secular spirit and the courage shown in the aftermath of this despicable act."

Organisers are reaching out to the larger Indian community through Hindu temples, gurdwaras and other religious organisations, and individual leaders at the forefront of this event are using their own e-mail data bank to spread the word.

Someshwar said  they have already taken formal permission of the concerned authorities to hold the meeting outside Queen's Park. They were not sure whether some politicians from inside the building would show up in support or not. Invitations, of course, have gone to Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty, who is going on an official visit to India in January. An invitation has also been sent to the Leader of the Opposition John Tory.

Organisers are confident these leaders and four South Asian Members of Ontario Legislature – Harinder Takhar (Minister for Small businesses), Dr Kuldip Kular, Dr Shafiq Qaadri and Vic Dhillon would join the condolence  meeting.

Those seeking further information may call Ajit Someshwar at 416-854-8600

Ajit Jain in Toronto