For those who waited with us

AVUT would like to acknowledge with gratitude the strength and support extended to the victims of the tragedy by the public. The last 10 years have been excruciating and agonizing for us. The seemingly never ending wait to get justice would have been even more unbearable for us had it not been for the support and solidarity shown by responsible members of civil society. We have fought this battle and will continue to do so not just to get justice for our beloved family members who perished at Uphaar cinema on June 13, 1997 on account of the criminal negligence of some. This battle, dear friends, is for the cause of public safety.

We take this opportunity to remind readers of this blog that no verdict or sentence will 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 utmost pain that we have come to realize that for our policy makers and decision makers, human life is of little value. Barely a few months after our lives were devastated by the Uphaar incident, we sought a meeting with the then Prime Minister of the country, Shri I.K. Gujral. Sadly, he had no time to spare for the grieving relatives of 59 people who had died tragically. We learnt later that even as we requested in vain for a brief meeting, he had very generously spared time to meet members of a team committed to saving the tiger!

Years later, we have again been reminded of the insensitivity of our times. Someone accused of killing a chinkara is sentenced to five years in prison, but those accused of having caused the death of 59 innocent people could well get away with a mere two years in jail – a pitiful twelve days in jail for each of the lives lost.

We urge you to ask for public safety and demand that safety becomes a priority. Join us in our campaign to make your country a safer place to live in – a country where we lost our loved ones because public safety did not matter to anyone.

Neelam Krishnamoorthy