News: Daily tears after 25 years

Published in the June 16 2010 issue of The Edmonton Sun. News

Daily tears after 25 years

It’s been nearly 25 years since the worst terrorist attack in Canadian history and a Sherwood Park man continues to mourn the deaths of his wife and son, who were both killed in that attack.

Krishna Bhat, 68, cries for his dead wife Muktha and nine-year-old son Deepak every day. They both died in the 1985 Air India bombing.

“I’ve been suffering for the last 25 years,” Bhat said Tuesday. “I shed my tears on a daily basis in my prayer.”

On June 23, 1985, a bomb exploded on the Boeing 747 Air India Flight 182, killing 329 people and marking the worst mass killing in Canada.

A five-volume, 3,000-page report by a commission of inquiry created in 2006 to determine what went wrong the day of the tragedy will be released and made public Thursday, just six days prior to the 25th anniversary of the terrorist attack.

Commission staff reviewed thousands of documents from government departments, agencies and RCMP.

More than 200 witnesses were also interviewed.

But the devastated Bhat said the report won’t likely bring him any closure.

He added that the time it took for a commission of inquiry to be created in the first place — more than two decades after the bombing — was long overdue.

“Why did it take them such a long time for a public inquiry?” Bhat said angrily.

“Had it been Caucasian people, would a public inquiry been done in a moment?”

But a pastor from the Vang Lutheran Church, 12 kilo-metres north of Wetaskiwin, whose sister was among the 329 passengers killed in the explosion, looks forward to the results of the report.

“(I) have the hope that this inquiry will explain not so much what happened, but why it happened, and how it can be prevented from happening again,” Rev. Louis Morin wrote in an e-mail to QMI Agency.

The bombing of Flight 182 was widely blamed on B.C.- based Sikh militants, but only one man has ever been convicted on a reduced charge of manslaughter.

Meanwhile, Bhat has since remarried, retired, and has two kids in high school.

But the grieving husband and father says his first wife and son never leave his mind.

“There is no time I don’t think about them,” he said quietly. “He (Deepak) would be 34 now.”

Bhat blames his anguish on the Canadian government and law enforcement agencies, who he says did not do enough to stop the tragedy from happening.

“The anger has never subsided in me.”

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