UPHAAR FIRE TRAGEDY: GRIEF, LOSS & INJUSTICE
A rankling sense of injustice tortures the 28 families who lost 59 relatives in a fire in Uphaar cinema during the matinee show on the first day of the release of Hindi movie, Border, on Friday, June 13, 1997.
The past 11 years have been an excruciating legal battle for the Association of Victims of the Uphaar Tragedy. In November 2007, a Delhi court convicted all 12 accused, including theatre owners Sushil Ansal and Gopal Ansal, guilty of gross negligence under section 304 A, 337 and 338 of IPC. The verdict of the trial has further traumatized and victimized us when we realize that the people responsible for the tragedy have been let off with a mere two year sentence. The families have resolved that they will continue their fight for justice.
We take this opportunity to remind people that no verdict or sentence can bring back to life our dear ones, who were so cruelly snatched away from us. The outcome of this case will, in fact, impact public safety and we hope that in future, public spaces in the country will become safer.
It is with the utmost pain that we have come to realize that for our policy makers and decision makers, human life is of little value. Those convicted of having caused the death of 59 innocent people could well get away with a mere two years in prison. The convicts are out on bail and have even been given permission to travel abroad. It is very painful when the fundamental rights of convicts are protected even while the fundamental right of victims to get speedy justice has been suspended for over a decade.