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Saturday, December 08, 2007

Sikh community unfairly labelled 'terrorists' after Air India bombing, inquiry told

A prominent Sikh businessman told the Air India inquiry Friday he's concerned his cultural community has become unfairly associated with terrorists since the high-profile 1985 bombing.

Gian Singh Sandhu, founder of the World Sikh Organization of Canada, said the bombing of Air India flight 182, which killed 329 people, devastated the Sikh community in British Columbia — but they were also stigmatized in its wake.

"The Sikh community as a whole was torn apart.... The majority of the Sikh community was categorically against these type of events," he testified in Ottawa.

However, the onslaught of news coverage and allegations of Sikh involvement in the bombing tainted his community, he said.

Sandhu described to inquiry commissioner John Major being approached while taking part in a parade in B.C. one week after the disaster.

"Kids were asking me when was the next plane going to go down," he testified. [Link]

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