Bombing victims' kin split on compensation

Oct. 25, 2010 at 2:21 PM
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TORONTO, Oct. 25 (UPI) -- Relatives of victims of the 1985 Air India bombing say they are divided on Canada's efforts to resolve the case.

Public Safety Minister Vic Toews and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney met last week with relatives of the 329 people who were killed when a bomb hidden in a suitcase exploded on a flight to India from Toronto, The Globe and Mail reported.

Justice John Major issued a report in June finding that Canada's national security agencies botched the case both before and after the bombing. The report called for symbolic "ex gratia" payments that do not admit guilt, among other steps.

Some family members have publicly complained about the dollar figures raised in discussions, despite government requests that they not speak to the media. The government did not make a formal offer.

Most victims' relatives declined to speak for the record to The Globe and Mail about their reaction. Some said their main goal is national security improvements, and money is a lesser issue. But others expressed outrage.

Esther Venketeswaran, whose father Trichur died in the bombing, called the amount "insulting, demeaning, disrespectful."

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