12th anniversary of Uphaar tragedy

June 13th, 2009 - 4:01 pm ICT by ANI  

New Delhi, June 13(ANI): Members of 28 families, who had lost 59 of their loved ones in the Uphaar cinema hall tragedy, observed the 12th anniversary of the tragedy on Saturday and demanded a suitable legislation to tackle similar man-made disasters and firmly punish the offenders.

“The offenders of such (Uphaar tragedy) crimes are often booked for causing death due to rash and negligent acts, which is a bailable offence,” Neelam Krishnamoorthy of Association of Uphaar Tragedy Victims said.

The families resolved to fight for enhancing the punishment of culprits, as they felt that the sentence given to them was not sufficient.

“The need of the hour is to have appropriate legislation to tackle such man-made tragedies and put in place appropriate judicial mechanisms that offenders think twice before indulging in acts of omission and commission that can endanger human life,” Krishnamoorthy said.

The fire had broken out in Uphaar cinema hall during the matinee show on the first day of the release of Hindi movie ‘Border’ on 13th June, 1997.

In November 2007, a Delhi court convicted all 12 accused, including theatre owners Sushil Ansal and Gopal Ansal, guilty of gross negligence. Ansals, who were initially given two years sentence had it reduced to one year.

Neelam Krishnamoorthy said the verdict to reduce the sentence has further traumatised and victimised the families when they realise that the people responsible for the tragedy have been let off with a mere one year sentence.

“The families of the deceased have resolved that they will continue fight for justice,” Krishnamoorthy added. (ANI)

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