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There were 20 people allowed into Canada from the steamship Komagata Maru (see Wikipedia's article Komagata Maru incident).

Is there a way to identify who were the 20 people allowed entry?

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If you wish to know who were the 20 (or 24 according to some websites) who were admitted, then Canadian immigration records would be the starting point. For the period you are interested in, Library and Archives Canada says:

Passenger lists (RG 76) were the official record of immigration during this period; there are no immigrant applications or files.

LAC has the ship indexed as the Komagata Marie and you can browse images of the passenger list; it will take detailed analysis of the data to identify those who were not refused admission. It is most likely that those who were allowed to remain already had residence rights in Canada. As the grounds for exclusion included not having sufficient cash (200 dollars ) and not having "come from the country of their birth or citizenship by a continuous journey and or through tickets purchased before leaving their country of their birth or nationality," (the continuous journey regulation), you should also review the passengers if any who meet those criteria.

Komagata Maru Continuing the Journey appears to have done a lot of work on interpreting and amplifying the passenger list and may prove your best starting point.

The Komagata Maru Heritage Foundation has lists of some passengers who returned to India, which may can help you eliminate them from the passenger list.(I'll note I can't find anywhere on this site details of the sources they've relied on, or how comprehensive these lists are).

Once you have the names of those who were allowed to remain, tracking their lives thereafter will require application of normal genealogical research techniques, consulting (among other sources) censuses, death records and newspapers. Ironically, because of the exclusionary legislation of the Canadian government, Sikhs made up a very small element of the population so may be easier to track than other groups.

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Have you considered the use of newspapers as a source of information? Clearly such a cause celebre would have received extensive coverage at the time. I would begin by searching the archives of local newspapers from 1914.

A second option would be to cast your net more widely and look for references to the name of the ship in later reports of death. It is possible that the manner in which those twenty people came to be in Canada will be mentioned in funeral notices or even news reports of their death.

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  • Did you mean to say "British Columbia newspapers", rather than "Ontario newspapers"? Ontario is the other side of Canada from where the ship arrived. – Rob Hoare Jul 17 '13 at 2:41
  • I could claim that I meant that even distant newspapers covered the event. Or I could admit that I had a brain snap. Thanks for catching that. – Fortiter Jul 18 '13 at 12:54

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