Monday, November 29, 1999

CHRONOLOGY - Report slams Canada on Air India bombing

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REUTERS - A "cascading series of errors" by intelligence and police agencies led to the 1985 bombing of Air India Flight 182, a government report said on Thursday. It recomends Canada create a new security tsar to prevent future attacks.Here are key dates associated with the attack that remains history's deadliest bombing of a civilian airliner.June 5, 1984 - The Indian Army storms Sikhism's holiest shrine, the Golden Temple in the city of Amritsar, 446 km (227 miles) north of New Delhi. The action, called "Operation Bluestar", is aimed at driving out armed militants who had occupied the shrine as part of their fight for an independent state called Khalistan. Hundreds of people are killed.Oct. 31, 1984 - Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, who ordered Operation Bluestar, is assassinated by two Sikh bodyguards. Her murder triggers riots in which more than 2,000 Sikhs are killed in Delhi alone.June 23, 1985 - Air India Flight 182 explodes in mid-air off the Irish coast, killing all 329 people on board. A bomb also explodes at Tokyo's Narita Airport, killing two workers who were transferring luggage to an Air India flight. Investigators link the attacks to Sikh militants in Western Canada.May 9, 1991 - Inderjit Singh Reyat, a Duncan, British Columbia, electrician is convicted of manslaughter by a Canadian court for helping to construct the bomb that exploded at Narita. He is sentenced to 10 years in prison.May 31, 1995 - Amid complaints they have bungled the investigation into the Flight 182 bombing, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police offer a C$1 million reward for information in the case. Police say they have six key suspects, who they do not identify, but complain members of Vancouver's Sikh community are withholding information. Reward is never paid.Oct. 27, 2000 - Ripudaman Singh Malik, a Vancouver businessman, and Ajaib Singh Bagri, a Kamloops, British Columbia, sawmill worker, are charged with murder for the Flight 182 and Narita bombings. Talwinder Singh Parmar, a founder of the Sikh militant group Babbar Khalsa who was killed by Indian police in October 1992, is named as an unindicted conspirator for the bombings.June 5, 2001 - Reyat is charged with murder for the Flight 182 bombing. The charges come as he is serving the final days of his sentence for the Narita explosion. He pleaded guilty in 2003 to a reduced charge of manslaughter for buying material used to make the bomb that destroyed Flight 182 and is sentenced to five years in prison.March 16, 2005 - Judge finds Malik and Bagri not guilty of murder charges after a trial that lasted nearly two years and heard from 115 witnesses.(Reporting Allan Dowd, Editing Mario Di Simine)(For more news on Reuters India, click
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