Families remember Uphaar fire victims

June 13th, 2012 - 5:07 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, June 13 (IANS) With tears in their eyes and fond memories of their loved ones, families of the 59 people who died in the Uphaar cinema fire here 15 years ago took part in a prayer meeting Wednesday.

The families assembled in front of Smriti Upvan, a memorial for the deceased near the cinema hall. They prayed for the departed souls and consoled one another.

However, there was a sense of dejection among them.

“There can be no fight without justice and the law has failed to give us justice since 15 years, which is shameful,” said Neelam Krishnamoorthy, president of the Association of the Victims of Uphaar Tragedy, who had lost her two children in the fire.

On June 13, 1997, during the screening of Hindi film “Border”, a fire engulfed the theatre, killing 59 people and injuring over 100 in the subsequent stampede.

In December 2008, the Delhi High Court sentenced the theatre owners, Sushil Ansal and Gopal Ansal, to one-year prison terms. They were released on bail within a month.

“There are so many pending cases against the Ansals, who are roaming free. We are disillusioned and dejected,” Krishnamoorthy said.

The families appealed to the government to implement stringent laws to avert such man-made tragedies.

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