HindustanTimes Thu,25 Dec 2014

Uphaar victims' kin demand law to hasten justice

IANS  New Delhi, June 13, 2014
First Published: 14:59 IST(13/6/2014) | Last Updated: 15:02 IST(13/6/2014)

The kin of Uphaar cinema tragedy victims Friday appealed to the government to bring in a new legislation which would expeditiously deal with "man made" disasters pending for more than five years.

"We appeal to the government of India to bring in a new legislation to deal with man-made disasters pending for five years," Neelam Krishnamoorthy, president, Association of the Victims of Uphaar Tragedy (AVUT), said at the prayer meeting on the 17th death anniversary of Uphaar victims.

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.

The fire was sparked by a blast in a transformer in an underground parking space in the five-storey building which housed the cinema hall and many offices.

"The Supreme Court has convicted the owners of the theatre but the sentencing is still awaited. I do not know for how much longer we have to wait. Why is there no value for human life in India?" asked Krishnamoorthy.

The AVUT in a statement said the families hope a larger bench would consider the enormity of the tragedy, before deciding on the quantum of sentence.

The families of the victims meet on this day every year around the premises of the cinema hall and perform a "havan" in remembrance of those who lost their lives in the tragedy.

The families also held placards with slogans like "Do we still have to wait for justice for 17 years, while the convicted holiday abroad?".

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