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Kanishka probe: Systemic racism alleged
December 14, 2007 08:41 IST
The Canadian government has objected to a report that suggests systemic racism may have played a role in public and government attitudes towards the Air India bombing that killed 329 people in 1985.
The report, prepared by sociologist Sherene Razack, was tabled as months of hearings at a Kanishka public inquiry presided over by Justice John Major into the bombing neared their end on Thursday.
But Barney Brucker, the lawyer representing the government, questioned the reliability of the findings and contended there was a "complete lack of evidence" for some conclusions.
Raj Anand, a lawyer for the families of the bombing victims who tabled the study on their behalf, said he regrets that scheduling problems kept Razack from being on hand to elaborate on her views.
In her study, Razack doesn't accuse any government, police or intelligence officials of being personally motivated by racism.
But she says there is a "powerful impression" that racial stereotyping, even if it was unconscious, was a factor in both pre-bombing threat assessments and post-bombing investigations.