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Let’s look at the Komagata Maru incidence

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

Ottawa, April 16 (UITV)- This week, on Monday, an assurance came from the Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau after 102 years of an incident for which he proposed to offer an apology to the victims of Komagata Maru in the House of Commons. The apology for the Komangata Maru incident will be delivered on May 18, in the House of Commons.

Trudeau said Monday while an apology will not ease the pain and suffering of those who lived through the experience, it is the right thing to do and the House of Commons will be the right place for it to be delivered.

Komagata Maru was launched by Charles Connell and Company on 13 August 1980. She was subsequently acquired by the Shinyei Kisen Goshi Kaisha Company in 1913 and renamed as Komagata Maru. Thw ship took off with 376 passengers, mostly of who were Sikh dissents, from Hong Kong and arrived at Vancouver Harbour on May 23, 1914.

An immigration act was passed in 1908 that required all Asiatic migrants to pay 200 dollars each as the immigration fee. The payment of 200 dollars was not done as the passengers on board argued that they belonged to British colony. From 376 passengers, 24 British subjects who hailed from Punjab were admitted to Canada and the remaining were made to stand on harbor for two months. After two months of stand-off, the ship was eventually sent to Calcutta and about 19 people were killed in an ensuing skirmish with British soldiers, while others were jailed.

Trudeau said on Monday, “It was in the House of Commons that the law that prevented the passengers from disembarking were first passed and so it is fitting that the government should apologize there on behalf of all Canadians.