For the families of victims of the Uphaar fire tragedy, the 11-year long trial reached its final conclusion on Thursday, with the Ansals –– Delhi’s well-known builder brothers Gopal and Sushil –– surrendering before the court.
Though sentenced to two years in prison on November 20, 2007, the Ansals were bailed out minutes after the order.
“Now we are satisfied. The court’s order has come as a big relief to us,” said Neelam Krishnamurthy, President of the Association of Victims of Uphaar Tragedy (AVUT). Krishnamurthy lost two children in the tragedy.
The surrender was the outcome of a Supreme Court order that cancelled the bail granted to the Ansal brothers in the Uphaar tragedy case. The court directed them to surrender by 4 pm on Thursday.
The apex court also cancelled the bail of Nirmal Singh Chopra and Ajit Chaudhary who were managers of the cinema hall at the time of tragedy that killed 59 persons on June 13, 1997.
After a long wait, at 3.10 pm younger brother Gopal Ansal walked into the court with his lawyers and employees who surrounded him, to ensure the media cameramen and photographers would not be able to focus on him.
Nearly 10 minutes later came the elder brother, Sushil, in a similar fashion. The two were not seen exchanging any words with each other. They sat quietly with a serious look on their faces.
Within the next few minutes, Additional Session Judge IK Kochchar ordered the police to take the two brothers into custody, along with the former managers.
The two brothers moved several applications in the court seeking access to medicines, spectacles and medical assistance inside Tihar jail.
YK Saxena, the Central Bureau of Investigation counsel, opposed the demands, on the ground that only the Jail Superintendent could decide such issues.